[Editor’ note: and 97 percent for digital] by contract, and commit to installing bi-
directional amplifiers in those buildings where testing reveals communications to be
problematic. These kinds of improvements must be completed before the system is used
for emergency situations where firefighters’ lives are on the line” (Dittmar, 2002, p. 55).
William Goldfeder, battalion chief of the Loveland-Symmes (OH) Fire District
states, “It is critical that radios work well under the worst conditions. Make sure those
specifying your radios cross every “t” and dot every ‘i’ to ensure your safety. It is worth
the time. If you don’t, you are losing before the game even starts” (Dittmar, 2002, p. 61).
Goldfeder continues: “Make sure the system is working before is it accepted and, even
before that, make sure the specifications fully match firefighters’ requirements and needs.
Make the manufacturers prove it, and not to some ‘suit’ in the budget office. Consider
using your most experienced company fire officers (field officers, not the training bureau
or other who don’t use the system under the toughest conditions), and have them
participate in the testing of the system. They know where the system will be stressed and
needed, the toughest spots, the deepest basements, the highest floors, the most remote
rural areas, and so on. We are talking about a radio system that will be firefighters’
lifeline. It must be designed with that in mind” (Dittmar, 2002, p. 61).
Ms. Dittmar reported that a fire department should develop positions on the
project committee so its members can serve as department advocates (Dittmar, 2002, p.
In Phoenix, Anderson says research has shown that a lack of user input and
involvement directly lead to problems. Each department needs to have full-time
representatives who can track the project, participate in decision making, and forecast