Commissioners hear about radio problems, meal program update
Aug 28, 2013 | 1302 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Radio problems was the dominate topic of conversation at Tuesday morning’s Massac County Commissioners meeting when Massac County Sheriff Ted Holder and Massac-Metropolis 911 Director Keith Davis addressed the board concerning the on-going issue of Brookport emergency personnel having difficulty hearing radio transmissions from the county.

The issue was brought up by Brookport Fire Chief Bill Copley at a recent Brookport City Council meeting, where Copley said there have been instances when emergency tones were sounded, but no voice commands followed. At the meeting Copley attributed the problems to the county 911 dispatch and their tower problems and said the county had not made its repairs yet.

Davis told the commissioners while Jackson Purchase Two-Way Radio was in the county to do work for the Massac County Fire Department, they checked out all the county’s equipment - radios, antennas, transmitters and engines - all of which appears to be working properly.

According to Davis, he went back and looked at all of the calls since the beginning of August and could only find one incident where there were emergency tones sounded and was not followed by a voice command.

He also explained both Joppa and Brookport operate on a “Simplex” system, meaning the transmission goes from point A to point B and does not involve any kind of repeater.

Davis said Monday he performed radio tests in Joppa and in Brookport. “From what I’ve seen and tested, nothing is wrong with them [the radios],” said Davis, pointing out there is nothing else the sheriff’s office can do to make it any better.

The real problem, Davis told commissioners, he felt stems from the FCC mandate at the first of the year for radio frequencies to be “narrow banded.” Davis said the radio frequency went from 25 kilohertz down to 12 and one-half kilohertz, so the power level of the transmissions going out has been reduced.

The reduction of the power level combined with the fact Brookport does not have a repeater, could be a part of the problem.

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