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    Default Regional: FD and N-A EMS?

    I just got to thinking about a possible solution to an issue with my department and a local EMS. We're both looking at communications issues and interoperability. Both agencies are looking at going 700 MHz to be more interoperable with state and other major response teams in our area. I'm not sure about the ins and outs of the higher band frequencies, P25, etc. (I'm going to try to get better educated in the next few days).

    Anyway, I'm having issues finding a clear determination in the PG. Can a FD (or mulitple FDs) get into a regional project with a non-affiliated EMS agency?

    If the N-A EMS agency will host it, it'll free up our regional app for a regional hose project we've been trying to push.

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    If they host it then your application will be in the EMS pool, ie $13 million total for funding. If an FD hosts it, it will be in the $380mil pool. Have one of the other FDs host the communications. Since all the stats are regional it doesn't matter who hosts it, everything is averaged.

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    OK, I guess it can be done then. Here's a thought I was having, being a numbers guy you may be able to set me straight. I was thinking it might be better for the EMS agency to host due to fewer apps. I haven't paid attention to how many EMS agencies apply and what they get funded for and all, though. I figured it'd be a harder app in the fire end now that they opened up 3 apps per department. The idea of fire has 30 times the money, but do they have 30 times (or more) the number of apps?

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    Most of the additional apps will be on the vehicle side. Used to average around 6500 truck apps, 13000 equipment. Equipment will maybe double with regionals tossed in, but trucks will triple easily.

    EMS side will be harder to beat the computer because they'll only review $18mil worth of equipment apps. Ye olde 200% rule. Fire will have $760mil reviewed. Better chance of beating the computer for larger projects.

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    Regional apps for IC on communications will fare much better and can include the EMS side. More money, bigger pool. I will caution you though a regional IC app takes a lot of effort and research to present a complete solution and unless it is a complete solution, they won't fund it. This is not something I would be attackng two weeks from a deadline. I got a $1 million Federal share IC regional through this year on AFG and I can tell you it is a lot of work to coordinate all the research and facts you have to have to do it right.
    Kurt Bradley
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    We've actually got a lot of the research done since we've planning to do it one way or another in the future. The EMS agency in question has done a considerable amount. A large chunk I think we've got done while we've been putting together our county 911 system (yes, we're just now getting 911 in our county). I'm sure there's more will need to do, just happened to think of it as a possible project to at least attempt.

    My biggest hurdle would be getting more of the FDs involved. There's a couple of us along with the ambulance district that are looking at the move to 700 (just don't have the money to do it ourselves just yet), but the others are the old "we've always done it this way, why would we change not" crowd. I can't even convince them to look at hose larger than 2 1/2", let alone a new frequency range.

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    "Engine 51 lay dual 2.5s into the scene and supply Deluge 106"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    We've actually got a lot of the research done since we've planning to do it one way or another in the future. The EMS agency in question has done a considerable amount. A large chunk I think we've got done while we've been putting together our county 911 system (yes, we're just now getting 911 in our county). I'm sure there's more will need to do, just happened to think of it as a possible project to at least attempt.

    My biggest hurdle would be getting more of the FDs involved. There's a couple of us along with the ambulance district that are looking at the move to 700 (just don't have the money to do it ourselves just yet), but the others are the old "we've always done it this way, why would we change not" crowd. I can't even convince them to look at hose larger than 2 1/2", let alone a new frequency range.
    And therein lies your eventual rejection of that application if it does not encompass all of those agencies. That's why I said it takes a long time to get them all onboard correctly. That grant I did had 81 FD involved; how would you like to tackle that many fire chiefs and get them all to agree on what to have for lunch, yet alone agree on a total communications project?
    Kurt Bradley
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    OK, now I see what you're saying. To do it right, it'd take ALL of the FDs in the county. I was under the thought we would have a shot with us few agencies that are trying to stay compliant with where the state is going. I didn't think it'd take every FD in the county trying to stay compliant with each other and the state, etc. to be successful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    "Engine 51 lay dual 2.5s into the scene and supply Deluge 106"
    You've been here?! I once had a chief look at me funny when I asked for him to dump his tanker into our engine (before we got dump tanks and I was a spanking new chief) using dual 2.5's. He felt one was plenty.

    I'm dealing with some real progressive guys here.

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    Unless you have departments in the county that are purchasing their own radios already and don't need a grant then it's hard to claim interoperability if half will be on the new system and half the old. The regionals I'm doing for SCBA, hose and communications are all in that boat of some bought it, some got grants in past years, so everyone else is in on the application to ensure complete interoperability.

    Like Chief Gordon said in my last PodCast, they started over 6 months beforehand trying to lay out the plan for theirs. Vendor and participant coordination takes months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    OK, now I see what you're saying. To do it right, it'd take ALL of the FDs in the county. I was under the thought we would have a shot with us few agencies that are trying to stay compliant with where the state is going. I didn't think it'd take every FD in the county trying to stay compliant with each other and the state, etc. to be successful.
    Right it must be a "complete and comprehensive solution". Motivating factor here for the "not interested folks" is that if a regional communications project does run in their area, and they were invited to participate and chose not too, they will not get to go to the program as a single enitity for those needs at alater date. Kind of like, "all aboard, the train is in the station and if you are not onboard you are getting left behind".
    Kurt Bradley
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    Sounds like it's time to start talking to the other chiefs in regards to next year (well, after ISO leaves and my apps are in for this year).

    Any good ideas on where to hunt down info on this P25 or whatever other info I need to convince these guys it's time to look at 700/800 mhz?

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    Catch 800 is an expensive option. Most 800 capable radios are around 2500 bucks each. You also have to add a lot of repeaters to your coverage area depending on the terrain. We are going 450 trunking over a 7 county area. We only had to add about 4 repeaters system wide to have the coverage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Sounds like it's time to start talking to the other chiefs in regards to next year (well, after ISO leaves and my apps are in for this year).

    Any good ideas on where to hunt down info on this P25 or whatever other info I need to convince these guys it's time to look at 700/800 mhz?
    Try a few of these:

    http://www.chiefsupply.com/grants/release20070223b.asp

    http://www.safecomprogram.gov/SAFECOM/

    http://www.tiaonline.org/standards/t...gy/project_25/
    Kurt Bradley
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    Quote Originally Posted by WJVaughn View Post
    Catch 800 is an expensive option. Most 800 capable radios are around 2500 bucks each. You also have to add a lot of repeaters to your coverage area depending on the terrain. We are going 450 trunking over a 7 county area. We only had to add about 4 repeaters system wide to have the coverage.
    I thought about those lines, it's just that the state is going 700/800. To be honest, I have no idea if 450 is compatible with it or not, if it is it's an option. If not, we're kind of stuck going the direction the state is.

    Thanks for the links Kurt! I'll go through them thoroughly as soon as I get the chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I thought about those lines, it's just that the state is going 700/800. To be honest, I have no idea if 450 is compatible with it or not, if it is it's an option. If not, we're kind of stuck going the direction the state is.

    Thanks for the links Kurt! I'll go through them thoroughly as soon as I get the chance.
    No problema. If you have question give me a call
    Kurt Bradley
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