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911 chief resigns after FCC licensing flap
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EBENSBURG, Pa. (AP) - The director of the Cambria County's
emergency services department resigned after the county lost its
federal communication license.
President Commissioner Fred Soisson would not say if Michael X.
Hoover was pressured to resign, but said "I think he had
intuition."
The Federal Communications Commission revoked the county's 911
radio dispatch licenses and the license for the county's 911
microwave signal transmissions because they expired. The county
must now spend $5,000 on an interference study to have the
microwave signal transmission license renewed.
Hoover did not tell anyone the licenses had expired, even after
he was contacted by licensing officials, acting director Ron
Springer said Wednesday.
The expiration of the licenses never diminished the county's
ability to communicate with fire, police or hazardous materials
units, which are dispatched by the department, Springer said.
"There was no major concern that we would be left without radio
operations, but it is a procedure required by the FCC," Springer
said. "This is an issue of mismanagement more than anything
else."
Hoover, who took the job as director in July 2001, did not
return from a scheduled vacation and a medical leave that followed.
There is no published phone number under his name and Hoover could
not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Temporary licenses for UHF, VHF and low band frequencies used to
dispatch emergency crews should arrive within 10 days, department
officials said. It could take as long as six months before the
standard licenses are reissued, officials said.
Cambria County has five tower transmitters for radio signals.
Emergency officials are awaiting a mandatory "interference study"
to determine if the five microwave paths used for 911 services are
clear.
"We don't expect any problems," Robbin Melnyk, acting
director, told The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown.
Melnyk is overseeing operations with Springer until a new
director is named.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)