Johnstown Fire Department to make improvements to radio communications

Communication problems at Ind. Park

JOHNSTOWN — The city Fire Department is working with an outside vendor on ways to improve radio communications with some of the larger structures at the Johnstown Industrial Park.

City Fire Chief Bruce Heberer said Thursday a limited emergency communications problem at the industrial park is something that has been occurring for some time.

“It’s an ongoing issue,” Heberer said.

Although he didn’t elaborate then, he told the Common Council Monday: “We’re having some communications issues in our larger companies in the Johnstown Industrial Park.”

Heberer said Thursday that his department continues to work on ways to improve communications at the Route 30A park. He said the major issues are communications inside the buildings because of the major sizes of some the buildings and the metal nature of the structures.

“We’ve been trying to work through it,” the fire chief said.

Heberer said some the buildings at the industrial park that have communication problems include large structures like the Euphrates Inc. cheese factory, FAGE USA’s yogurt manufacturing plant, and the massive Walmart Regional Distribution Center that employs hundreds of people.

For example, the Walmart distribution facility encompasses 868,000 square feet on 146 acres at 300 Enterprise Road. Some of the larger structures built at the park in the past 25 years have 18-foot high ceilings. FAGE USA’s building is 365,000 square feet of space on 23 acres at 1 Opportunity Drive. Euphrates represents a 40,625-square-foot building at 230 Enterprise Road in the park.

Heberer said his department is working on securing a more powerful radio repeater through Motorola that can improve communications at the park. He said a 100-watt repeater is what his department may need.

“We’ve been working with them on some of the buildings,” Heberer said.

He said he wants to make sure the city can secure the right equipment before “we look at the cost.”

Officials are trying to improve two-way radio communication coverage and eliminate dead spots. Repeaters can sometimes extend range and overcome signal obstructions to ensure reliable communication between multiple locations or a single site using integrated data applications. analogue, or digital migration capabilities.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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