Officials are considering building a new tower near Baltimore (OH) to improve first-responder communication, reported the Lancaster Eagle Gazette. Currently, first-responders rely on one tower to communicate and overloading is a concern.
The commissioners have taken no action for a new tower yet, but commissioner Dave Levacy said dead spots are unacceptable.
Fairfield County Emergency Management Agency Director Jon Kochis, said now is a good time to discuss the issue, since county fire departments will soon join the Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS) that local police and the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office already use. “Hopefully we can find a partnership with the state, with other local entities,” Kochis said. “But really, the county commissioners are tackling this as a need in the community and seeing what can be done, hopefully, to fruition.”
The optimum height for the tower will be approximately 300-feet and will likely cost around $750,000, according to Kochis. However, Levacy noted that the county will probably only pay around $350,000 because it has $65,000 left from buying new radios last year. MARCS has some equipment to donate which will lower costs even further. Additionally, the state will be responsible for the tower upkeep once constructed, reported the Eagle Gazette.
“From MARCS’ standpoint, I think they’re going to see this as win-win for everybody concerned,” said Levacy. “Because they don’t look at one particular area as just being the only agency that benefits. They’re looking for a wider spread of coverage and this will provide that.”
February 25, 2019