Members of the Cloverdale Town Council failed to come to an agreement this week concerning new radios for the town's fire department, leaving the assistant fire chief concerned for his firefighters' safety.
At issue was the council's decision last December to purchase new radios for the department, apparently unaware of a federal grant received by the county for the same purpose.
The county received a grant to buy new 800 megahertz radios for the departments in the county, which will mean everyone can communicate on the same frequency in a major disaster.
"We weren't aware of that in December when we made that motion to buy radios," Council President Don Sublett said. "So it's my suggestion that we rescind that motion (made) in December."
With that, questions were raised as to the functionality of the current radios being used by the department.
Council member Judy Whitaker said the fire department has not been receiving transmissions through the current radios.
But council Vice President Dennis Padgett argued that the radios are the same ones used by other fire departments in the county and that he doesn't think those agencies have been having trouble.
Assistant Fire Chief Donnie Mitchell told the council that the department was recently dispatched to a car accident and that none of its radios or pagers picked up the transmission.
He said the radios also quit working when he tried to contact the 911 dispatch center during an incident.
The radio company has been out in the past and tested the radios, but the problem hasn't gone away.
Mitchell said his biggest concern is that if his firefighters are inside a burning building and they get injured or have trouble, the town is liable for those injuries because of the defective radios.
Sublett asked if the town wanted to participate with the county or not concerning the radios.
Member John Davis said yes to moving forward with the county, but agreed that the fire department needs to have its current radios repaired.
In the end, the council did not make a decision.
In other business, the council:
* Approved Jeffrey Boggess's withdrawal from Davis and Whitaker's lawsuit against the remaining members of the council.
The council meets regularly at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the town hall. The next scheduled meeting is set for Tuesday, Feb. 13.