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Fire Chief Volk Answers Resident Siberry’s Concerns — Caucus 9/24/12

John Siberry

PERTH AMBOY — Resident John Siberry appeared before the council in regards to the new radio communications system put in place by the Fire Department which he thought was not as reliable as the old system.

He felt this put the residents in danger. Volk responded, “The new system was put in place August 1, 2012 but I do not see it as a danger to the citizens. We have worked on the problems with the radios for 2 months and I have talked different personnel in respect to this situation. Some problems had to do with operator errors. We have other systems in place in case the trunk system fails. Woodbridge has used the system that we are using now for 2 years. Woodbridge has the backbone of the trunk system which has enhanced the Perth Amboy System. South Amboy and Sayreville can communicate with the department. Audible signals will let you know if you have lost communications and to change your channels.”

Fire Chief Dave Volk

Business Administrator Greg Fehrenbach said in 2008, Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, South Amboy there was a study between shared services between the towns. Woodbridge picked up the cost of the study. Woodbridge replaced all of their radios and all antennas which gave Perth Amboy 90% coverage. South Amboy was also covered. Fehrenbach continued that, “In 2010 Volk and Lt. Cattano also in charge of Emergency Management reviewed changing frequencies and teaming with Woodbridge on their trunk system. Motorola got the contract to replace all radios and this was completed in late August, early September of this year.”

Councilman Bill Petrick wanted to know if the City could change back to the old system in case of an emergency.

Volk replied, “The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) gave us the band of frequencies and the original frequency is still in place. The department is keeping track of where there are dead spots. Motorola is being notified of them. Presently we have 98% coverage.”

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