Officials work to fix troubles with Austintown firefighter communications


By Elise Franco

efranco@vindy.com

Austintown

Township officials are working with Canfield city to help enhance the Austintown Fire Department’s radio-dispatch signal.

Jim Davis, Austintown trustee chairman, said the township recently began looking into finding a new location for the fire department’s backup radio antenna, now located at the Austintown Police Department.

Davis said the fire department is operating under the backup radio system because the regular 800-MHz frequency system needed rebanded. This means the frequencies will be moved to reduce the chance of interference between public safety services and cellular services.

Fire Chief Andy Frost Jr. has said when the trucks get to certain outskirts, they’re unable to communicate to dispatch, Davis said. “They can’t get any sort of frequency on these radios because the antenna isn’t up high enough.”

He said often firefighters aren’t able to communication with one another.

“We’re talking about the safety of our firefighters,” Davis said. “I don’t like to hear they don’t have the proper communications.”

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.

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