Wednesday, September 21, 2005
FLASH - Unrelated WC Item
No Fish Today ...
Where there is smoke there is usually fire, but not so on Tuesday afternoon. Most of the smoke came from the steaks and ribs however it started off with a request from a fire fighter from North Irwin as he needed his scanner programmed.
As I had mentioned before that I will help anyone out there, especially the Fire, Police and EMS, when it comes to programming help or understanding how this Stupid 800 Mhz Radio System is suppose to work and why it doesn’t.
So instead of just handing me the scanner that needed programmed, we ate lunch together and discussed all the problems that 911 Management is having and what we might do to help them along.
Who says two people can’t make a difference.
When I speak of 911 Management problems I’m mainly referring to the fact that they have DUG themselves into such a big hole and now I (we) believe they are in that hole so deep they can't see the light of day and they don’t know how to get out !
You can’t go around telling all the Firemen and Police Officers that this 800 Mhz radio system is working great and it’s the best thing since Moses brought the County Site Survey down from Rector when it’s really working like Fred Flinstone’s anti-lock brake system.
OK, so you say you have 95% coverage area with this system. Surely you don't mean 95% coverage of Westmoreland County ? Maybe 95% coverage of the 911 building or downtown Greensburg, BUT NOT Westmoreland County ! Show me where Wilpen, Ligonier Township or Markle has 95% coverage and I'll send you a wallet sized photo of Willy Nelson. I could give you at least 20 more examples but I don't have that many photos of Willy.
So here we are, a fire fighter that KNOWS what is needed in a proper radio system to make it “user friendly” and a retired electronic engineer specializing in two way radio communications attempting to solve the Broken 800 Mhz Westmoreland County Radio System (don’t say that out loud now as the 911 Managers and County Commissioners think it’s working great) having lunch together !
The first thing we agreed upon were those damn FIRE TAC channels (talkgroups). When a fireman grabs a portable radio they expect it to either be on dispatch or operations.
Now it’s either on Dispatch or ONE OF A DOZEN operational TAC channels.
But as sure as mega hurts, one or two firemen are going to be holding a radio that is NOT on the right fire TAC channel.
The solution, NONE.
Except if all fire chiefs get together and decide on TAC channels for each area, kind of like the old fire ZONE frequencies. THIS COULD WORK however I’ll leave that up to the chiefs to talk about as I am not a fireman.
Another thing is that Mark and the programming crew at Westmoreland County 911 haven’t begun to reprogram ALL of the thousands of radios yet.
Each radio was programmed for the Fire TAC Channels to run through the trunked repeater system (trs) and that is incorrect. Each TAC Channel has to be programmed as a SIMPLEX frequency, meaning that it does not go through the trs… kind of like all fire TAC channels now becoming “talk around” frequencies.
That way when fire command yells for everyone to get out of the F(^#'in burning building, everyone will hear command. The way it is now with all of the TAC Channels operating through the trucked repeater system, the firemen will not hear the command to get out of the building if there is a T1 or tower problem (which has happened as much as once a day if not more).
Getting back to this HOLE that 911 Management has dug, it is pretty damn hard for someone to admit their mistakes, especially if that mistake cost the county over $14 Million Dollars, but I for one would rather have a written apology and a promise to fix the problem than to sit and watch the HOLE get bigger and deeper.
So deep that even their xts-2500 series radios will not work, no signal, which is normal anyway.
I would respect a person that makes a mistake and can admit it and HAVE NO respect for those requesting a bigger shovel.
Another thing we talked about over lunch was having the current 911 Director and Deputy Director replaced as they are not doing anything about this problem nor are they publicly addressing the issue.
I’m not sure if that would be a good idea either. I think that since the Department of Homeland Security is involved maybe that will be enough of a PUSH to get things corrected. I shall just sit back and watch.
If they do nothing by mid October then PLAN B.
The last thing that we spoke about over lunch was starting up a Citizens Advocacy Group (CAG) or Greater Advocacy Gang (GAG) to watch, go over all public records, appear at all public meetings and then some (sunshine law), set up meetings with all Police, Fire, EMS directors on a monthly basis… record and log all dead spots, etc. and forward our report directly to the Department of Homeland Security PLUS have it published in the local news papers.
WE ARE PLANNING ANOTHER MEETING SOON SO IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND PLEASE CONTACT ME AT email@example.com. The meeting is nothing more than ordering coffee and open round table discussion.
WTAE, WPXI, KDKA, the Tribune Review, Latrobe Bulletin and the Pittsburgh Post have all been contacted concerning this problem and some are following very closely HOWEVER they need a Police or Fire Chief to go “on record” and they will run with the story. Please for the sake of all things good do not ask the Blah-ger “what story”.
If you are a chief and would like to explain to the news media how this NEW system is in dire need of repair and is severly combooberated contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org !
Hey, more to follow later… I wanted to get something out before lunch time. If I don’t post anything before lunch time Management seems to get mad.
They like to copy and print this so they can put a copy on each of the dispatchers desks.
The audio files are posted, enjoy.
Please, have a dispatcher run to Denny’s for lunch. Everything I was going to prepare for you exploded in the microwave ! I didn’t know you can’t put aquariums in microwaves !
http://800.k3sam.com – websight
email@example.com – tips and comments
www.NorthIrwinFD.org – thought you might like this website
" may all your signals be clear in the future "