Can anyone give the status and/or time frame for the counties radio upgrade? I am considering updating my scanner and would like as much info as I can get to help me when I'm ready to purchase. Thanks..............
I'll have to go thru some things here and see if I can find a couple of articles from the local paper .I know I printed them out after I read them. I am fairly sure that there was a "new" system in the works but haven't read anything lately.
I was digging today online and found this tidbit,I believe this is from 2007
August 07, Public Opinion (PA) — Pennsylvania county prepares for emergency
communications upgrade. In Pennsylvania, the pieces to upgrade Franklin County's
emergency communications system are coming together. At the same time, the county is
planning to keep its old system going as long as it can. The extra time will allow fire companies
and volunteer firefighters to replace outdated and expensive pagers. The county has completed
seven of nine tower projects and secured four of the 20 pairs of broadcast frequencies necessary
and is designing the building that will house the new communications center at the Cumberland
Valley Business Park. Firefighters, police, and other first responders expect to better handle
emergencies with the new system because they'll be able to communicate directly with each
other. Currently, radio communication across different agencies and municipalities is very
difficult. There also are "dead spots" where communication fails. The county is moving its
dispatching to high−band digital, but not for at least two years. The communications center also
is accommodating technology that will locate a cellular telephone caller dialing 911 by way of a
global positioning satellite (GPS) chip in the callers' phone.
And from the meeting minutes in the local government:
The Board reviewed Emergency Services matters. On a motion by David Keller; seconded by Robert G. Ziobrowski; unanimously approved the Contract Change Order # 8 to JG Contracting for the Integrated UHF Radio Communications System Project to extend the contract completion date to December 31, 2008.
I may post more finds if any one is interested................
Radios should be ready by next year
By JIM HOOK Senior writer
FRANKLIN COUNTY -- Ambulance companies should be radioing over Franklin County's improved emergency communications system by this time next year.
Bryan Stevenson, county communications coordinator, briefed the Franklin County Association of Township Supervisors, Auditors, Assessors and Tax Collectors during the group's annual spring meeting Wednesday at Marion Volunteer Fire Company.
The system is expected to reach all corners of the county and allow police, fire and ambulance to communicate directly with one another during emergencies.
The hardware for the county's ultra-high frequency system should be accepted and completed in the first quarter of 2008, Stevenson said. Radio users should begin moving to the system at least through the end of 2008 in the order of emergency medical services, police, municipalities, fire departments and all other users.
The county will maintain its low-band system through the middle of 2009, Stevenson said. Field equipment should transition to high-band by the end of 2009.
"At this time there's no rush to replace fire department pagers," Stevenson said.
The county will continue fire paging on low frequency (46.16 mHz) as long as the county can get parts for its equipment, he said. The county is getting Federal Communications Commission approval for its 450 to 470 mHz channels, Stevenson said. The microwave equipment that will connect the county's eight tower sites has arrived. The eight will be capable of
broadcasting simultaneously an alarm on the same frequency. Dispatchers can then direct radio traffic at an incident to a single frequency on a single tower.
The county currently uses two towers (at Clark's Knob and PennMar, Md.) and will add six -- the Blue Mountain tunnel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a 20-foot extension to the tower at the Franklin County Courthouse, Methodist Hill near Fayetteville, Tuscarora near Fort Loudon, Warren Township Building and at the new communications center in the Cumberland Valley Business Park.
The county has borrowed $6 million for the radio project. Ambulance and fire companies are expected to shell out $5 million for radios that will work with the new system, according to Dusty Stoner, president of the Franklin County Fire Chiefs' Association.
Stoner said the Emergency Services Alliance intends to apply for a large Assistance to Firefighters grant next year, but first must raise more than $2,500 to pay a grant writer. The county also is trying to connect individual departments with grant sources, according to Alecha Sanbower, a member of the EMS Alliance Funding Committee. For more information, contact Sanbower at 263-7350.
County prepares for upgrade: Emergency communications to improve
By JIM HOOK Senior writer
Technology upgrade: Sarah Goetz, geographical information... (Public Opinion/Markell DeLoatch)
The pieces to upgrade Franklin County's emergency communications system are coming together.
At the same time, the county is planning to keep its old system going as long as it can. The extra time will allow fire companies and volunteer firefighters to replace outdated and expensive pagers.
The county has completed seven of nine tower projects and secured four of the 20 pairs of broadcast frequencies necessary and is designing the building that will house the new communications center at the Cumberland Valley Business Park. The county borrowed $4 million in 2004 for the project. The winning bid came in at $3.7 million.
Firefighters, police and other first responders expect to better handle emergencies with the new system because they'll be able to communicate directly with each other. Currently, radio communication across different agencies and municipalities is very difficult. There also are "dead spots" where communication fails.
The county is moving its dispatching to high-band digital, but not for at least two years.
"I don't expect to be fully digital until 2009 to 2010," Franklin County Department of Emergency Services Director Gerald Flasher said.
When the new system is operational in 2008, the county will continue to simulcast alarms on high-band and low-band, he said.
"I plan to keep the old system working as long as parts are available," Flasher said.
Pagers The extra time will give fire companies and volunteer firefighters
a chance to replace low-band pagers. Worn on a firefighter's belt, a pager alerts him or her to an alarm.
A new high-band pager lists for about $788, according to Anna Swailes of the Franklin County Emergency Services Alliance. With some fire companies needing 50 or more pagers, the cost for all fire companies in the county rises to $644,000.
The alliance has worked out a 25 percent discount with Motorola, which is supplying hardware for the county's system. Swailes said she does not know of any fire companies that used the offer.
The alliance, meanwhile, is applying for grants to help fire companies pay for pagers.
Citizens who follow emergencies on their electronic scanners also will have extra time to save for a digital scanner.
"The old analog scanners will lose their ability to receive on those high (digital) frequencies," Flasher said. "There have been digital scanners available for years."
Top of the line retail: $500.
The new frequencies will range from 410 to 470 megahertz, Flasher said.
Alarms will be broadcast on high band simultaneously from seven towers across the county. Currently alarms are directed from either of two towers.
Four pairs of channels will be dedicated to sounding the alarm. Another 16 pairs will handle tactical communication among police, fire, ambulance and municipal services.
The county expects by the end of the year to bid a project that will prepare a building in the business park to become the communications center, according to county Administrator John Hart. The county should move in during the first quarter of 2008.
The 911 center will have six dispatch desks, each with seven computer screens, a supervisor's desk and space for more than 40 mainframe computers.
An accessory to the existing 911 system will be eating up a lot of computer memory.
The county is testing its geographical information system (GIS). The system allows a dispatcher to see an aerial photograph of the neighborhood where the call originated. The dispatcher can overlay the location of fire hydrants or switch to a map of the area.
"We're five to 10 years behind other counties when it comes to GIS mapping," Flasher said.
The system already has been used to plan security for military funerals and to plan for emergency routes during July 4 celebrations in Chambersburg and Waynesboro.
"We're doing so much, so fast, it's exploding," Flasher said.
The communications center also is accommodating technology that will locate a cellular telephone caller dialing 911 by way of a global positioning satellite (GPS) chip in the callers' phone. Flasher anticipates 80,000 calls to the 911 center before the end of the year. That's more than 200 calls a day. More than half will be from cell phones, if the current trend continues.
I'll guess we'll have to wait and see . No one seems to know for sure or isn't giving up any info on the subject. I will keep looking for related articles and hold off on a new scanner purchase until I know for sure what is going on.
From that reading, I'm not even sure the powers to be know. I kinda get that they are first moving to UHF conventional repeaters, then maybe another upgrade to digital in the future. Not an easy-to-understand release of information at all. And Motorola's website doesn't have any press release info regarding it either, which leads me to believe that its not a P25 trunked system... as Motorola is usually pretty excited to share when they sell these systems.
I guess I'll just have to "wait and see" . I've got the itch to upgrade and don't want to fork out the $$$$ on something I won't need . The old PRO-74 ,2042 and 16 channel Uniden mobile are still working fine! (LOL) As soon as some one finds out please pass the info on .
When the time comes I will be buying the best I can find for the money . I was just going to go with a PRO-97 but will probably go ahead and get a 96 or a Bearcat digital handheld. Even if I don't need digital for my county I will have it for other digital applications. I'm just a little gunshy I guess.
I was on the world wide web digging around and stumbled upon this ,it's old but interesting.......
Franklin County Emergency Service Alliance
Meeting Minutes – February 4, 2006
President Negley called the meeting to order at 9:05 AM at the Franklin Fire Company with twelve (12) representatives in attendance on behalf of 9 municipalities and 3 organizations and 1 guest.
The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted on a Culbertson/Swailes motion
Treasurers Report accepted on a Culbertson/Speicher motion
Executive Committee No Report
Communications Committee Oral interviews with Transcor and Motorola were recently held. Each explained how they will solve the radio problems. Kimbal Associates will respond to all questions raised at these meetings in writing. In the future there may need to be a municipal ordinance to require some form of link or repeater style system for radios to work in large commercial structures, this will be handled by the Council of Governments. The systems being designed will be UHF analog systems for all public service channels and digital for law enforcement.
I Think Franklin County Is Taking A Very Practical Approach To Their New System.
In My Travels, I Know Several New Site Buildings Have Been Erected, And Would Expect
To Perhaps See Some Testing In Late 2008.
So Far The New License (wqib664) Shows 4 Uhf Conventional Repeaters. (not Trunked)
The License Permits Both Analog (f3e) And Digital (f1e) Emmissions. I Think You Will
See The System Start As A Standard Analog Repeater Operation, And Perhaps Change Later To Digital Use When More Money Becomes Available. (my Opinion)