coverage on all major emergency incidents. It is also important that technological
upgrades such as mobile data, automated vehicle locators, and status change heads be
considered in the future to enhance the current computer aided dispatch center.
No jurisdiction is immune from disaster. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and
aircraft accidents can cripple even the best communications systems. It is important to
plan for these rare occasions where the radio system is out of service or overloaded. The
PWCDFR should develop contingencies to continue operations should the system
become disabled or overloaded. The use of HAM radio operators, as well as cellular
phones may be valuable in times of crisis.
The radio operators’ identification and emergency activation features are valuable
and have the possibility of saving the lives of fire and rescue personnel in a variety of
situations from fires to hazardous materials emergencies to medical calls. Since portable
radios are occasionally lost or stolen, the disable feature would provide protection against
those who may try to disrupt our communications.
A plan to continue simulcasting on the current 154 MHz frequency should be
included. This can provide a secondary means of emergency call back of off duty
personnel who have minitors, monitors and scanners in their private vehicles or at home.
The news media covers the fire and emergency medical services by monitoring our
frequencies. One of our best public relations tools is the press reporting on our
operations. The freelance photographers and reporters will be able to continue to monitor
our dispatch channel if we continue to simulcast.