Related to the future upgrade of the Columbia County Fire Radio System there has been an increase in the use of MURS frequencies and other business frequencies on a temporary basis. Many fire companies have been putting off radio purchases until the county's plan was finalized and now many departments have to make replacements of failing Low Band equipment until the new system and equipment is purchased and installed. Some departments have chosen to purchase VHF-High radio that will be compatible with the new system and are using MURS or unlicensed business frequencies on a temporary basis. For example the Claverack Task Force (Claverack Fire, Churchtown Fire, Mellenville Fire, Philmont Fire, West Ghent Fire) have started using the following plan:
F-1 - 151.8200 (PL229.1)
F-2 - 151.8800 (PL229.1)
F-3 - 151.9400 (PL229.1)
F-4 - 154.5700 (PL229.1)
F-5 - 154.6000 (PL229.1)
F-6 - 151.6250 (PL229.1)
I understand why it is being done, but I'm not so sure that using public shared frequencies for emergency operations is the best idea. Although Columbia County is fairly quiet radio wise, the MURS freqs, especially 154.5700 is quite busy during business hours. PLs prevent you from hearing other users, but they don't stop interference and stepping on each other.
Anyway, this is happening in other departments too. Something to be on the look out for if you seem to be missing something. check out MURS and other places in the VHF-High spectrum.