County seeks to upgrade radio systems Panel reviews fire, ambulance plans

October 04, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

An article in Sunday's Carroll County section should have said that a contractor is to be selected in early 1994 to make improvements in the county's ambulance and fire deppartment radio system. No date has been set for completing the pproject.

The Baltimore Sun regrets the errors.

The county took its first step toward improving its ambulance and fire department radio systems when its Radio System Replacement Committee began reviewing a proposal it will send to engineering firms interested in overseeing the work.

Committee members examined a draft proposal Thursday night that detailed the proposed responsibilities of the company that will be chosen to manage the extensive project.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

"It is a starting point," said Jay Nave, chairman of the committee appointed by the county commissioners in August. "It's easy to knock down something or decide what you want added to it if it is right in front of you."

Part of the engineer's job would be to help design the county's minimum requirements for submitted bid proposals, Mr. Nave said.

Once a contractor completes work on the radio system, the engineering firm would test it to ensure it meets the county's needs and operates properly.

"We don't have the testing capabilities that an engineering company may have," Mr. Nave said. "And we want to make sure we are getting the system we asked for."

Discussion about replacing the outdated emergency radio system began in 1989, when the county government hired a consultant to evaluate it.

The consultant recommended upgrading to an 800 megahertz system, which would eliminate interference and frequency problems in the current system.

Fire officials sometimes have problems "informing their volunteers when they are needed" due the system's problems, Mr. Nave said.

The county government has proposed using nearly $6.5 million from the capital improvements program between 1994 and 1999 for the project.

"It's not going to be cheap, and no one is trying to fool anyone about that," Mr. Nave said.

"But the system now has a lot of problems, and if the county continues to talk about having its own police force, we're going to need a good radio system."

Mr. Nave expects to begin advertising for the engineer by mid-December.

The county's schedule includes selecting a contractor by next fall and completion of the project in early 1994.

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