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Springfield to renew radio contract [Springfield News-Sun, Ohio :: ]
[January 30, 2014]

Springfield to renew radio contract [Springfield News-Sun, Ohio :: ]

(Springfield News-Sun (Ohio) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 30--SPRINGFIELD -- The city will likely spend $290,000 to renew its contract for radio maintenance with a local vendor through 2016.

The city commission will vote Tuesday to renew the contract with Springfield-based W.S. Electronics, which handles maintenance on radio systems for all the departments which use radios, including police, fire, service, dispatch and municipal court, among others. The cost will be incurred by each department that uses the radios on a daily basis.

"It's vital to city operations and emergency operations," said Leslie McDermott, assistant to the city manager.

The renewal will be the fourth of five options for the city with the company, according to public documents. The contract was signed in 2000, which included the construction of a city radio tower. Through the life of the contract, the city has spent approximately $4 million. It will have a fifth and final option in 2016.

McDermott said it costs approximately $7.21 per month to service portable radios and up to $17 per month for most equipment operated by the Springfield Police and Fire Rescue Divisions.

Police chief Stephen Moody said the 800-megahertz radio system has been "very reliable" since it was installed.

"It was a large and very effective step forward, not only for the police division, but the fire division," Moody said.

The police use approximately 180 radios, including portable and mounted vehicle units.

The radios also have the capability to be linked with other agencies, such as the Clark County Sheriff's Office, in case of a major incident.

The Fire Rescue Division uses approximately 95 portable and mounted vehicle radios.

Assistant Fire Chief Brian Miller said communications are "imperative" in an emergency situation. Miller said the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health typically cites lack of communication as what leads to near-miss accidents or firefighter fatalities.

"It certainly handicaps us if we're not able to communicate the progress we're making on scene and what duty needs to be accomplished next," Miller said. "It clearly can't all be done face to face. It just doesn't work." The city service department uses radios to communicate while working on different projects throughout town. If one crew needs help, another crew nearby can offer assistance in a timely manner.

"It's a broadcast type thing," said Chris Moore, the city's service director. "If all of our communication were done by cell phone, we'd lose a lot of our efficiencies." During snow removal, Moore said the plow drivers can communicate about certain techniques and when to use less salt while out on routes.

"They do a lot of information exchange that way," Moore said.

___ (c)2014 Springfield News-Sun, Ohio Visit Springfield News-Sun, Ohio at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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