911 wants to add equipment to the new radio system to ensure safety

2021-12-14 13:41:07 By : Ms. Linda Zhang

Now, the new 911 800 MHz radio system is being tested in Branch County, and users have requested some modifications and improvements. 

The 911 Committee heard a suggestion to add a repeater to the fire truck and add a channel to the portable fire fighting equipment to improve fire safety. The cost is $100,779, which will come from bonds borrowed to build the system. 

Coldwater Fire Chief Dave Schmaltz said that firefighters working in the basement of the building have safety issues. Tests during the current system aging period showed this problem. 

The board of directors authorized the trial of on-board radio repeaters on fire trucks to check the improvement.

"This is just an extra layer of protection," Schmalz said. 

He also warned: “148 fire department radios must be programmed to communicate with the repeater. What will eventually be done is that it may delay those portable radios that are now scheduled to be deployed at the end of January.  

The fire chief said in the test: "I am very satisfied with the coverage we have obtained. When using VHF in the past, we could not get rid of certain areas."

Now with 800 MHz digital radio, "it's very clear." As for the "change we requested, it is more or less just an attempt to enhance the system more for the responders."

Sheriff John Pollack (John Pollack) said there are problems with the connection to the surrounding county radio stations. Schmalz said these problems have been resolved. 

Coldwater City Manager Keith Baker expressed concern about the increased costs. 

The county administrator, Bad Norman, said there was funds in the bonds to cover additional costs. Funds have been set aside to pay for the sixth tower, which is deemed unnecessary. This means that US$900,000 to US$1.1 million can be used.

If the test proves that it is beneficial to operations, the board of directors approves the request to the county committee to approve the project. 

Norman stated that 911 operations "as of December 2, with lower expenses and higher income. Your income this year, at current levels, is approximately $2.2 million, and your budget is $1.7 million." 

He showed the chart, but did not provide details, which he said would increase the operating fund balance by approximately US$600,000 to US$4.2 million. He predicts that by 2022, this number may reach 4.8 million US dollars. 

With the increase in personnel, pre-employment medical examinations, software and technical services, so does the cost. 

The new central dispatch director Bob Swick (Bob Swick) said that the cost of electricity, generator fuel and building improvements has increased costs. More work is underway, including security and parking lot paving. 

The additional funding comes from two sources. The telephone line surcharge approved by voters increased from 42 cents a month to $2.96 for a period of six years, and property tax revenue increased. 

Norman said 9/11 may need to increase its contribution to the MERS retirement plan because 9/11 is the lowest funded in the county. 

Baker questioned the 2022 budget approved by the county committee. The 911 board did not see any proposed budget for next year as it used to. The county committee will not review the spending plan until it must approve it within the next two weeks. 

The focus this year is to complete the newly upgraded county-level public safety radio system. 

Schmalz told the board that all the people involved "are doing a good job. After all, when this project is completed, we will be very proud of it. It will last us for more than 20 years."