Archive for April 27th, 2012

Narrowband Radio Switch Deadline Looms

An article found at looks into the high costs of the switch to narrowband radio frequencies and some concerns about the coverage that will come with it.

A federal mandate requiring emergency service providers to switch to narrowband radio frequencies is costing many departments hundreds of thousands of dollars and could result in a 30 percent reduction in coverage area.

Failure to meet the Jan. 1 deadline, set by the Federal Communications Commission, could result in a $16,000 daily fine, said Paul Maplethorpe, treasurer/comptroller for the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System.

“I’ve been a communications technician since 1978,” Maplethorpe said. “Based on my experience, it (the switch) will not provide any benefits and will cause a 20 to 30 percent loss of range.”

Danvers Fire Chief Glen Rosecrans said his department is buying repeaters for its trucks to combat the range reduction. Repeaters retransmit radio transmissions through the truck’s higher wattage radio. A repeater system can run about $3,000 per truck.

The FCC mandate, requiring licensees to switch from 25 kHz radio systems to 12.5 kHz channels, was announced in 1995 and is designed to be a more efficient use of VHF and UHF land and mobile bands, allowing more channels to become available. Most radios purchased in the past six to eight years are capable of narrowband and just need to be reprogrammed at a cost of between $40 and $75 per radio.

The entire article can be found HERE.

thanks Dennis

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South Holland firefighter killed in motorcycle crash


Dwight Ligon Jr….24, of South Holland, died Wednesday when the motorcycle he was driving slammed into a vehicle near the intersection of 152nd and Halsted streets in Harvey about 8 p.m., …

He had just been sworn in as a part-time South Holland firefighter last week, a goal toward which he had worked for more than a year. His death is a huge loss to the department, South Holland Deputy Fire Chief Brian Kolosh said.

“Before he was in the academy he was helping out at the station,” Kolosh said. “He was doing station duties and coming to fire scenes and helping us clean up and learned what we do.”

The article can be found HERE.

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Vintage CFD Fire Photos

More historic fire photos from Chicago.

Chicago Fire Department history extra alarm 4-11 fire in 1964

Chicago Fire Department history extra alarm fire in 1963 Museum of Science & Industry

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