County officials assure firefighters Lineboro will get radio tower

But board lukewarm on moving 911 center back to fire training site

September 14, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Carroll officials assured volunteer firefighters yesterday that the county is moving ahead with construction of a radio tower in Lineboro to eliminate gaps in local emergency communications.

But the county commissioners appeared lukewarm to a request to move the 911 emergency dispatch center from the County Office Building back to fire training headquarters on Washington Road south of Westminster.

Those issues topped yesterday's quarterly meeting of the county commissioners and the Carroll County Volunteer Firemen's Association.

Howard S. "Buddy" Redman, county director of public safety, said he met Tuesday with state officials for an update on the need for a 800 MHz radio tower in Lineboro.

The tower would be the county's eighth and would bolster communications in that area, where radio transmissions are hindered.

About $750,000 in state funding is available and the remaining $250,000 will be available in April, Redman said.

"That time frame is about the same as it will take us to apply for a license from the [Federal Communications Commission] and to test sites that Lineboro selects for placing a tower," he said.

Those seven months also will give county and state emergency officials time to resolve issues with Pennsylvania authorities over signal interference from overlapping frequencies, Redman said.

The county commissioners questioned John Korman, association president, about why the 911 dispatch center was moved.

Korman said he knew of no one in the association who wanted it moved initially, noting that the dispatchers would like to have the center back in a building with windows.

Redman said the center was moved because emergency operations had to have space to install the new 800 MHz radio system and maintain operations on the old low-band radio system.

The commissioners agreed to revisit the matter.

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