Passaic County low band Fire frequencies – Are they still in use?

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SCPD

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With many towns in central and northern Passaic County switching to VHF and UHF frequencies especially some fire departments. Is there activity on any of the (old) low band frequencies? From my location in the southern part of the county I have not heard as much radio traffic as I have in the past.
I see in the FCC license data base some towns are retaining these frequencies for perhaps as back up and or and mutual aid. While yet others have let their license expire for they have moved to a higher band.
In particular these are the frequencies that I am looking for activity on.


  • 46.4000 - Passaic County Mutual Aid Association who renewed their license and as a Mutual aid frequency for Passaic County and Sussex Co.
  • 46.3800 Was primary dispatch FD freq in central and north county
  • 46.4400 Was active as a fire ground frequency
  • 46.3000 At one time a Mutual Aid frequency to Wayne and Montclair

Any insight on this would be appreciated :confused:.
 

jmp883

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Hi Ken,

I haven't heard anything on 46.300, 46.400, or 46.440 in quite a while now, though that doesn't mean those freqs aren't active anymore. When I was still in Wanaque FD we had 46.400 programmed in all our rig radios but I don't remember operating on it very often. 46.380 is still active as the dispatch frequency for West Milford FD, but not for much longer. They have new VHF-Hi frequencies that they should be moving to in the very near future.

As for the other low-band frequency, 45.480 MHz, that is used as a simulcast frequency for dispatching by Wanaque, Ringwood, and Pompton Lakes FDs. Once Ringwood and Wanaque dispatch the mobile and fireground activity switches to the new frequencies. Pompton Lakes FD also simulcasts on that frequency, but they also use it as an in-transit frequency. Their apparatus stay on 45.480 until on the fireground then they switch to their new frequency. On release from the fireground they switch back to 45.480. That's the way they'd like it to work but I've noticed it doesn't always work that way.

A little bit more than what you asked for but I figured it might be interesting!

Joe
 
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SCPD

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Joe,

Thanks for your input. I was somewhat aware of how the low band FD frequencies were used in your neck of the woods. However as these towns now have VHF and UHF allocations and their transition to them is almost complete.

The big mystery to me, who is or was Passaic County Mutual Aid Association on 46.400? I have never heard them on the air. Perhaps it my location? Or perhaps this association is a dinosaur from the low band past?

Even the county Low Band HAZMAT freq 46.160 has become quiet. I use to hear more traffic during the day. I am not around in the early evening to monitor if the still do a radio check and roll call once a week.

That is it for now.

 

jmp883

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Ken,

I'm not sure about the current status of the PC Mutual Aid Association. Of course there are mutual aid pacts in place but it seems to me that they are organized by the individual towns and their neighbors. This is just an educated guess but I would wonder if the PCMAA was formed for the licensing of the 46.400 frequency. There was (and maybe still is?) a coordinator who did call the various towns for m/a to the major incidents in the county (usually Paterson multi-alarm fires) but 'routine' m/a requests were always left up to the individual fire chiefs.

In regard to the Haz-mat frequency, 46.160, that was one I never monitored but since the County runs the haz-mat team I would guess that they can be monitored on the regular county dispatch frequencies. I don't monitor the county simply because they, like Wayne, Paterson, and Clifton, just keep my scanners too tied up.

Unfortunately I'm only able to offer educated guesses here....hopefully someone with a bit more inside information can confirm, or correct, what I've posted.

Joe
 

Lt5-2

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The Passaic County Mutual Aid Association is still very active. Meetings are held monthly at the PCCC-Public Safety Academy. As per the Fire Service Resource Deployment Act of 2003, each individual fire company provides the Coordinator with a Mutual Aid plan. Coordinators usually are notified after the second alarm. The association also provides information on different topics that have an effect on the fire service. As far as the frequencies listed, 46.40 are still used, along with 46.38 for WMFD. The database shows some new high band freqs for WMFD but at this time there is no plan to move to them for dispatch. All of the six companies in WM have mobile extenders, (high band portables to the low band mobile) in use now. Hope this helps
 

SCPD

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Lt5-2,

Thanks for the clarification. Your information has helped close the circle on this entity.

Thanks
 

jmp883

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Let me also send a word of thanks along to LT5-2 for his information. Even though I'm no longer a firefighter it still nice knowing how the mutual aid works since I'm still dispatching.

For LT5-2, in regard to the new West Milford FD and PD frequencies, based on what you posted then I guess I'll need to leave the current low-band frequencies in my radios in order to hear FD and PD dispatch. I was assuming that they would eventually switch over entirely from the low-band to the high-band frequencies.

Thanks again,
Joe
 

SCPD

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Lt5-2,

One last question about Passaic County Mutual Aid Association.
The use 46.4000 is their a PL or are they CSQ :confused:?

Thanks
 

Lt5-2

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jmp883-- As for the low band yes will still need them to hear WMFD & WMPD..... Several years ago the twp hired a consultant to review our radio system….. Some of the recommendations were to remain on low band, replace the old phone tie lines and add as he called them “repeaters”, which are really “mobile extenders”.
knieglos-- 46.40 for Passaic County M/A is csq.... The way we have it set up in the truck is that the freq is in the radio twice...one is listed as PASS CTY M/A, which is set up with csq, and also listed as SUSSEX FIRE 2, which is set up with the pl for Sussex County Fire 2.
Again, hope this helps clear things up in regards to the “up county”
 

SCANdal

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I montior 46.38 on occasion I hear some towns in NJ and pick up some dispatches in New York.
419,

The traffic coming from New York is quite likely from Putnam County, on the east bank of the Hudson River, immediately north of Westchester County. 46.380, with a tone of 123.0, is their Fire F1 - used for dispatch of the fire/rescue departments and some EMS corps.

SCANdal
 

Alarmguy

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jmp883-- As for the low band yes will still need them to hear WMFD & WMPD..... Several years ago the twp hired a consultant to review our radio system….. Some of the recommendations were to remain on low band, replace the old phone tie lines and add as he called them “repeaters”, which are really “mobile extenders”.
knieglos-- 46.40 for Passaic County M/A is csq.... The way we have it set up in the truck is that the freq is in the radio twice...one is listed as PASS CTY M/A, which is set up with csq, and also listed as SUSSEX FIRE 2, which is set up with the pl for Sussex County Fire 2.
Again, hope this helps clear things up in regards to the “up county”
So what is happening with the two VHF-HI frequencies for West Milford? I saw somewhere that the PD was redoing their comm center. I recall seeing something on the now never updated northwest corner site with a 158.9000 freq for a crosspatch for West Milford Company 3. The new frequencies don't show a very high output only 15 watts are they going to be used to crossband to 37.0200 and 46.3800?. Most vehicle repeaters are not licensed since they are usually 5 watts or less.
 

Lt5-2

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Alarmguy--Yes you are correct as to the comm center being redone.... In the consultants review, it was noted the comm center was in dire need of replacement. As to the new VHF HI freqs, i am not sure what they are being used for. I will check and see what I can find out.......
 
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