Suffolk Fire

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scrappy212

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Have I really been out of the action that long? Times have changed and not for the better. Last time I had a decent setup (about ten years ago) monitoring 46.46, I heard just about every department on one frequency and now I hear VERY little. Now I see that there’s a UHF West and UHF East.. I don’t hear UHF East at all, and UHF west only gives me about 3 or four departments. How did they thing this would be an efficient operation moving from a system that had literally every single department on one frequency to scattering 100+ departments across tens of dozens of frequencies?
 

w2lie

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I still hear quiet a bit on 46.46, but as Motorola gets out of the low band game, it forces many departments up to UHF.

You may not hear anything on the FRES East, I don't think it is on the air yet.
 

scrappy212

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Why exactly is Motorola stepping away from LB? Are all the first division/BCFA still on 46.46? I’m out east and cannot hear them currently.
 

w2lie

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BCFA has their own UHF Repeaters now, but they still dispatch for the most part on 46.46. The exception to this in the 1st Division being Amityville, which always had their own dispatch frequency
 

GTR8000

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Low band has been dying off over the past decade. Kenwood is pretty much the only manufacturer still making public safety grade low band mobiles. Frankly, low band is too prone to EMI to make it as reliable as it once was. Newer technologies like multi-site simulcasting on UHF offers much better in-building penetration for paging, and 700/800 trunking is much more spectrally efficient. They also offer the ability to operate over a wider area without having to rely on high powered mobile radios. A 3 watt portable has much greater range than a 110 watt mobile when coupled with simulcasting/trunking.

From a dispatcher's perspective, monitoring a single UHF simulcast or trunked talkgroup is light years better than having to monitor multiple low band receivers, especially when often times a high powered mobile can hit two or more receivers at differing signal strength. That causes one receiver to have clear audio, while the others are mostly static, making it tough to pick out transmissions.
 

Rudy3145

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Suffolk FRES UHF paging West is active for depts that are 100% uhf paging and request it. Some depts are still on low band 46.46 or a mix/transitioning to Uhf paging. FRES uhf East is not in the air yet. I heard they might be having interference problems, as the FCC gave the neighboring county Nassau the same freq to activate their FD’s on, great job.

Babylon Central does have uhf paging, but still simulcasts with low band 46.46 for some depts aren’t fully uhf paging yet. They’re uhf paging system is, or will eventually be simulcasted from 4 or so different sites around the township for coverage. They also have a East and west uhf repeater freqs for response/ops.
 

scrappy212

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Suffolk FRES UHF paging West is active for depts that are 100% uhf paging and request it. Some depts are still on low band 46.46 or a mix/transitioning to Uhf paging. FRES uhf East is not in the air yet. I heard they might be having interference problems, as the FCC gave the neighboring county Nassau the same freq to activate their FD’s on, great job.

Babylon Central does have uhf paging, but still simulcasts with low band 46.46 for some depts aren’t fully uhf paging yet. They’re uhf paging system is, or will eventually be simulcasted from 4 or so different sites around the township for coverage. They also have a East and west uhf repeater freqs for response/ops.

Thank you. What a cluster this county is turning into
 

Machria

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Yea, Suffolk does seem to be a mess lately. I don’t understand whey they make it soooo complicated! Plan and decide on a system, get the lic’s, buy the system, install it and test it, then roll it out. Shut the old system down. Why do all these systems seem to be dragging around for years, and never seem finished or right?

I’m no expert on radio stuff, far from it. I order how you guys figure all this stuff out. BUT, I really don’t understand how the county gets to be such a mess!
 

scrappy212

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Yea, Suffolk does seem to be a mess lately. I don’t understand whey they make it soooo complicated! Plan and decide on a system, get the lic’s, buy the system, install it and test it, then roll it out. Shut the old system down. Why do all these systems seem to be dragging around for years, and never seem finished or right?

I’m no expert on radio stuff, far from it. I order how you guys figure all this stuff out. BUT, I really don’t understand how the county gets to be such a mess!


MONEY. The county probably bit off a much larger bite than it could chew. And Motorola is a fat hungry pig only trying to get fatter. They ended lowband products which forced fire departments to seek an alternative. Unfortunately there is nothing that could provide the reliability and coverage of lowband around here (every department on one frequency) without some very expensive repeaters. Now they’re trying to get everything on one system by the looks of it, but by the time they do that, Motorola will shuffle things around under their feet. The current radio system is probably 20 years old. No need to upgrade, but Motorola stops support on certain products and changes technology to make things obsolete.
 

Machria

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MONEY. The county probably bit off a much larger bite than it could chew. And Motorola is a fat hungry pig only trying to get fatter. They ended lowband products which forced fire departments to seek an alternative. Unfortunately there is nothing that could provide the reliability and coverage of lowband around here (every department on one frequency) without some very expensive repeaters. Now they’re trying to get everything on one system by the looks of it, but by the time they do that, Motorola will shuffle things around under their feet. The current radio system is probably 20 years old. No need to upgrade, but Motorola stops support on certain products and changes technology to make things obsolete.

Well why don’t they simply negotiate and sign and contract with Motorola (or any other company) for a system AND length of time for “support” of that system???? I used to do that exact thing with software companies I purchased large systems from.... You simply say, “We will NOT buy from you unless you agree to support it for xx number of years...”. You would be surprised what they will do for a sale.... I’m sure they all know this, but....?

All this gets me thinking though... the type 2 800mhz Suffolk system currently in place and in use all over the island for PD and some municipalities and Riverhead and corrections..... why do they not just put EVERYONE (FD...) on that system? Is it not big enough to handle it? And if not, why don’t they just expand It? That system seems to work fantastic, I never understood why the FD isn’t on it. I’m guessing $$$ ?
 

nyscan00

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From what I understand when the current analog type II system was being built Fire Depts did not express interest in joining the system. Fast forward to now and all depts that do not self dispatch on their own channels are forced to upgrade to the new p25 system in order to talk to FRES. I am wondering if the new p25 will include both of the twin forks so the majority of all users will be on one system. I know East Hampt Town is building out their own p25 system Im hoping there is a interop / patch etc between the EHT system and the county.
 

scrappy212

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Well why don’t they simply negotiate and sign and contract with Motorola (or any other company) for a system AND length of time for “support” of that system???? I used to do that exact thing with software companies I purchased large systems from.... You simply say, “We will NOT buy from you unless you agree to support it for xx number of years...”. You would be surprised what they will do for a sale.... I’m sure they all know this, but....?

All this gets me thinking though... the type 2 800mhz Suffolk system currently in place and in use all over the island for PD and some municipalities and Riverhead and corrections..... why do they not just put EVERYONE (FD...) on that system? Is it not big enough to handle it? And if not, why don’t they just expand It? That system seems to work fantastic, I never understood why the FD isn’t on it. I’m guessing $$$ ?

It sounds good on paper but the government can’t do anything right. Especially when there’s hundreds of people involved in the process. There’s 109 fire departments across Suffolk county. Coverage is an issue, some departments will not be able to reliably reach the system. Every department needs to be activated so you’ll need another system in addition to 800 anyway because you cannot activate on 800.

The stupidity goes further...

Departments are bleeding money. They’re all hurting because they knock their entire fire department down (ahem.. RIDGE) and rebuild a 3m$ facility than allocate their funds appropriately... knocking down an entire fire department and keeping all your rigs under a tent is just criminal. No government building funded by the tax payer should ever be demolished. But whatever... anyway.

Departments are doing everything they can for money. Now they discovered they can DISPATCH another departments and get PAID for it. (BTW Suffolk FRES is FREE for them).

Now you have more congestion and confusion. Dix Hills dispatches for Wyandanch (not even in the same area) Holbrook dispatches Holtsville, Bayport dispatches for community ambulance, some departments don’t even HAVE a dispatcher. Some departments rather pay another department 30k PER YEAR for a dispatcher than take FRES, and their argument is “well we would rather be dispatched by someone handling only ONE department than FRES which handles a hundred departments”.. well that argument is bull crap because FRES has never dispatched 100 departments at once. Also FRES has highly trained dispatchers and heavy resources and fire departments have a guy watching MSNBC with a desktrac while he’s eating stoffers TV dinners.

I have an XTS with every fire department in it. Division 5 has 6 zones (96 channels) because every department uses at least 3 frequencies. Most departments are still being activated on lowband (even if it’s simulcasted) and ambulance companies are activated on VHF, get simulcasted to UHF, have another UHF frequency for operations, then they also need to communicate with FRES on medcom 800, and when they’re enroute to the hospital they need to switch to hospital north/south. So one call requires 5 channels across two different radios. So much for public safety interoperability. Thanks for listening
 

Machria

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I hear ya bro, I’m doing all the same. I’m in Brookhaven Hamlet, so I also have all the western towns/villages programmed as well, then there is the marine units (I’m on the water...), all the PD’s... I have close to 10k freq’s/tg’s programmed into my TRX. And people on here (RR forum) don’t understand why I complain the interfaces on these scanners suck! They don’t understand how many things we have in close range, and turning things (geo area’s/types of services...) on/off is not easy. Anyway, don’t get me started on software design, that is my expertise... ;-)

Back to Suffolk, sounds like a bigger mess than I pictures. The country really needs to just take over and do it all right, put all the resources together and they will likely have more than what they need.

And PS, South Country Ambulance (not even FD!!!) just built a 8 million dollar Ambulance HQ to hold 3 or 4 ambulances!!! One of the biggest rippoffs I have ever seen in my lifetime. The building is 3 times the size of the FD, just rediculous!
 

Rudy3145

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Scrappy212 sounds like a big fan of FRES which would lead me to believe he might work there. FRES can barely handle what they have now. I’d like to see them handle the entire county, Psap and dispatch from start to finish - because right now they’re not the psap for the entire county, only disp a handful of agencies from start to finish and mostly activate depts initially if the call comes through them, then a local dispatch takes over. We used to have FRES initially active us, but stopped after not getting activated correctly, off wrong towers (pagers wouldn’t trip), getting sent to wrong towns. Don’t get me wrong, they’re ok - but if they had to handle Melville to Montauk? I’d like to see it. Depts want a personalized service, which you’re not going to get at FRES. Depts want dispatchers who know that local area and procedures. I’m personally a big fan of township dispatching, like 1-0-0 or 8-0-0. FRES has its place, but I’ll never be sold on them. And if you do work there, please pass along to the techs that FRES sounds horrible on 800. Don’t know why, maybe they need to go back to headsets.
 

scrappy212

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I hear ya bro, I’m doing all the same. I’m in Brookhaven Hamlet, so I also have all the western towns/villages programmed as well, then there is the marine units (I’m on the water...), all the PD’s... I have close to 10k freq’s/tg’s programmed into my TRX. And people on here (RR forum) don’t understand why I complain the interfaces on these scanners suck! They don’t understand how many things we have in close range, and turning things (geo area’s/types of services...) on/off is not easy. Anyway, don’t get me started on software design, that is my expertise... ;-)

Back to Suffolk, sounds like a bigger mess than I pictures. The country really needs to just take over and do it all right, put all the resources together and they will likely have more than what they need.

And PS, South Country Ambulance (not even FD!!!) just built a 8 million dollar Ambulance HQ to hold 3 or 4 ambulances!!! One of the biggest rippoffs I have ever seen in my lifetime. The building is 3 times the size of the FD, just rediculous!

Hasn’t happened in 100 years and It’ll never happen. EVERYTHING is political. Every department official needs to be voted in by popularity. Some departments are operating WITHOUT leadership because they’re that dysfunctional.

Speaking of ripoffs, companies are getting wise to the almighty deep pockets of the government and they’re taking advantage of it. From Ford to Motorola and any contractor in the process. The crown Victoria was an $18k vehicle. Ford killed it so they could sell governments a $48k explorer instead. Government leaders aren’t sticking to their guns and they’re paying whatever to get it done because it’s not their money!
 
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