North East Fire officials continue to have issues with radio system implemented in 2019

Local News

For first responders, a twenty six million dollar radio system was implemented in Erie County in 2019.

North East Fire officials said that they continue to have issues with this radio system.

We spoke with public safety officials and firemen who said that the issues are ongoing.

North East fire officials said that these issues have been going on since the system was put in place two years ago.

It has never worked right for them while leaving dead zones. 911 Center officials said that they are trying to resolve the problem.

The chief of the North East Fire Department said that radio dead zones continue to cause concern in the Eastern Erie County region.

“It’s been frustrating at this point especially out in North East. I can’t say anything for the other departments, but we’ve had this issue since day one and we know it’s something new hiccups this and that, but it’s been almost two years,” said Dave Meehl, Chief of the North East Fire Department.

The new radio system manufactured by RF Johnson was installed through out Erie in October of 2019.

Meehl claims that since then, the North East Fire Department is struggling to communicate by radio, but also trying to be optimistic about the future.

“I’m trying to work out a meeting to have with all the chiefs in Erie County to get together so we can talk about the good, the bad, what we can do to improve it and make it work for everybody,” said Meehl.

The director of the Erie County Department of Public Safety said that they are doing everything within their means to address current and future issues with the radio system.

“We had worked with E.F. Johnson engineers and our first responders to conduct over 2,500 points of testing based on the feedback we went live with the new system,” said John Grappy, Director of Erie County Department of Public Safety.

Grappy said that this decision was made anticipating first responders would identify additional areas of coverage concerns.

“That’s why we continue to work with E.F. Johnson to continue whether that be adding another tower site or another satellite site,” said Grappy.

E.F. Johnson is obligated by contract to help with additional revision to the system with no additional costs to Erie County.

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