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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Emergency teams radio for upgrade in project specs

Friday, August 24, 2007

If Putnam County 911 director Dave Costin had been singing a tune Thursday night, it would have been that old Rolling Stones lick, "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

The major topic of discussion at the 911 Advisory Committee was a strongly-worded letter from the heads of every major police and fire department in the county, asking the committee and Costin to strongly consider purchasing higher-end and more expensive Motorola radios when the county installs its 800 Mega Hz emergency responder radio system.

But, as the Stones sing, "But if you try sometime, you just might find you get what you need."

Since the Motorola radios cost about twice as much as the other major competitor, EF Johnson, or about $100,000, it's unlikely that the county will decide to go with the Motorola system, Costin said.

This was the first advisory council meeting that addressed the Aug. 3 letter. Craig Kinney, the director of Operation Life and one of the leading forces behind the letter, said the issue hasn't been laid to rest, though it was good to air the concerns.

Jim Willison, a private contractor hired to help design the specifications and oversee the contract bidding for the EOC, said he will spend the next two weeks designing many of the specifications for the project. Those specs will include a guideline for which radios will fit the county's needs.

Kinney said he worries that the specifications will exclude Motorola radios from the bidding due to their cost.

Willison initiated the discussion about the letter, saying that the council needed to address the concerns of emergency responders, or at least discuss them.

The council also voted 8-0 to ask the county commissioners to approve a bond for its $2.9 million Emergency Operations Center and communications center.

Construction has already begun on the operations center, which will be near the county highway department garage, and Costin said he hopes to have the walls of the structure poured before winter sets in.

Bids to work on the EOC are scheduled to open Sept. 27.

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