Milford City Council recently approved a request from Carlisle Fire Company to transfer $100,000 from the company’s Building Enhancement Fund which is managed by the city. The funds will be used for a variety of capital improvement products.
“We plan to purchase industrial fans for our engine bay to circulate the air for $12,000,” Tor Hazzard, President of Carlisle Fire Company, said. “These are two industrial fans that are approximately 14 feet. We also want to install a perimeter fence along our back lot for $40,000 as it will limit our overall liability with equipment, training cars we have out back and other items. Our banquet hall restrooms are in much need of updating and will cost $10,000. Our boomer and break room remodel will be $13,000. We want to strip and finish the engine bay floor which will be $15,000 and we need to upgrade our 800-megahertz radio system which will be $10,000.”
The radio encryption is critical, Hazzard explained as the Milford Police Department radios are now using the technology. This means that the fire company has no way to communicate with the police department on the radio in an emergency. Hazzard stated that the goal is to have encryption throughout the state.
“Just to make you guys aware, you’re all familiar with our fire police,” Lester Guyer, Board Member for the Carlisle Fire Company said. “Our fire police assist not only Milford Police Department but the City of Milford. We are out there when there are electric outages, poles down. Our fire police are out there all hours to assist the city crews. When we have events, the fire police assist with traffic and, right now, we have no way to communicate with MPD. We have run into instances before when we are working with MPD and the City of Milford electric where this has been a problem. This occurred unexpectedly to us. We need to get this programming in our Command Vehicle, some pieces of apparatus. We were not anticipating this need.”
Councilman Brian Baer asked if the banquet hall was open to the public.
“Yes, it is,” Hazzard explained. “Just to touch base on that, last year we had just one event due to COVID. We have just reopened and are booked solid until the end of the year, so that is a very welcome problem. Anyone who wants to rent the building can call our administrative secretary Monday through Friday.”
Councilman Andy Fulton asked if there was no funding provided from the state for the encryption service.
“Absolutely not,” Guyer stated. “It is just something that came about. There was no funding available for it. I am sure Chief Brown will confirm that we need this ability. We understand there were some issues up and down the state with information getting out to the public during incidents and that is why agencies are going to encryption.”
Fire Chief Ryan Knowles confirmed Guyer’s comment.
“It is basically a safety issue,” Knowles said. “Not every agency has the ability to have their own police department right in their town and the ability to communicate with them. We were always able to do that with a simple turn of the knob on our radio should there be a problem, and there have been numerous problems in the past as Chief Brown can probably back me up on. We’ve used it quite a bit and we rely on them when we are responding to alarms because they can arrive on the scene rather quickly. We can hear ahead of time what we have so that we can gather additional resources if necessary. This makes it safer and more efficient for the citizens of Milford.”
Councilman Fulton agreed that the communications between the fire company and police department were critical.
“I think it is great to keep it encrypted because you don’t want to get a lot of ‘looky-lous’ and other people showing up at a scene that you don’t need,” Councilman Fulton said. “What I was curious about was the Electronic Interoperability Council run by Homeland Security, they have a committee and they were paying a lot. I ws on that committee and we were upgrading a lot of radios when we went to the 800-megahertz system WE also started doing ti for the encryption as well so I think there are a lot of grants available. Just try to keep your eye out for different grants because they do come out. Just some food for thought.”
The request was approved unanimously.
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