Wednesday, April 02, 2014

First alarm news and information

To: All Ulster County Emergency Services From: Art Snyder Date: March 31, 2014 Re: News and Information CAD view-only access – I have been asked by the law enforcement community to grant view-only CAD access for current fire and EMS incidents to those police agencies with a dispatch center. This would allow their dispatcher to retrieve information (such as nature and location) of incidents within their area of responsibility. There would be no ability to research closed calls, nor would there be the ability to add/change/delete the current incidents. I stated that before approval would be granted, I needed to find out if there was opposition. Any agency that does not wish law enforcement to have this view-only access, please send me a letter or e-mail by May 1. I will have someone from area law enforcement address your concerns directly with you. Central Hudson – There has been some concern recently about Central Hudson requesting fire department approval to restore electric service to a fire-damaged building. Central Hudson management agrees this is a building department function and will reinforce this with staff. Low band paging – As a follow up to previous discussions about low band paging, I am pleased to report that the FCC has granted us a license modification that allows for an increase in the number of pagers on frequency 155.220 MHz. This will allow us to simultaneously dispatch fire departments over both 33.48 and 155.220. The short term plan is to provide this service on a one to one basis (for example, a department that is dispatched off the Kingston tower on 33.48 will also be dispatched off the Kingston tower on 155.220). Unfortunately there will have to be some modifications in call dispatching procedures until a fully simulcast solution is put into place. For example, to avoid interference we may have to sequentially dispatch some agencies responding to the same incident. This is an unavoidable consequence until a fully simulcast solution is installed (which is the long term plan). To provide full simulcast of all 155.220 tower sites on all calls requires new base stations, a new microwave system and other enhancements – a complex and very expensive project. However, this is part of the overall upgrade to our radio system anyway, so while very pricey, it is not unexpected. No part of this project is wasted money – the migration to a simulcast VHF high band paging solution, and all other radio system enhancements, are being developed and implemented not as stand-alone solutions, but rather with an eye toward integrating them into a complete, interoperable radio system for all of Ulster County’s emergency services. Motorola’s decision to discontinue offering Minitor pagers in VHF low band simply hastened this move. There is no need to notify our office when you organization begins to purchase high band pagers – we will be implementing the 33.48/155.220 simulcast on or around May 1st for all departments. The only change you may notice is the sequential paging that may be necessary to avoid interference. As departments begin to purchase new high band paging equipment, tell your vendor to use the same tones and timing on high band that is currently used for low band. Low band paging will sunset by May 1, 2016. This gives agencies over two years and two full budget cycles to replace their low band paging equipment. The Hudson – The NYS DOH has given Part 18 approval for a mass gathering, and the UC Health Department is close to giving their approval for the Part 7 permit. The scale of the event is such that most impacts (aside from an increase in traffic) should be focused on Saugerties. More information will be forthcoming.