Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

April 30, 2012

Antenna change improves radio system

CROSSVILLE — Last week commissioners on the Emergency Services Committee learned that great improvements have been made on the P-25 emergency radio communications system.

Eric Ritzman, P25 radio system specialist said great improvements had been made with the radio system because one of the antennas that had been damaged was repaired and adjusted.

"The Campbell Junction antenna (one of the three antennas that was damaged) was replaced and we tilted it about three degrees downward. It has made a huge impact on reception and coverage in the Rinnie area," Ritzman said.

Ritzman showed the committee results of tests that were taken before the antenna was replaced and after with a display of radio reception hits.

"The signal was a lot stronger and the improvement of coverage is considerable," he said.

Ritzman said that two more antennas that need to be replaced on the system, one on Black Mountain and one at Turkey Knob, near Fairfield Glade, should be done within the next six weeks.

The same drive-by digital testing will be performed in those coverage areas once the antennas are replaced.

"After these two are replaced with the similar new antennas, we should have a dramatic improvement with system coverage," Ritzman said. "We also have a little work to do at the Midway tower, but after that, we should have all of the infrastructure issues taken care of."

"I'm glad to hear it. It's nice to be getting some good news about this for a change. We appreciate the updates and all you've been doing," said Nancy Hyder, 2nd District commissioner and Emergency Services Committee chairperson.

Ritzman will keep the committee updated at next month's committee meeting.

In other areas, Cumberland County Fire Chief and EMS Director Jeff Dodson reported that two of the county's ambulances are in North Carolina getting remounted with new chassis.

Donald Buttram, E-911 Communications Center director told the committee that the county was participating in the new reverse 911 program with 14 other counties. The program can call up to 250 people at one time announcing emergency situations and/or checking on people after a storm has struck in a particular area.

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