Hunterdon (NJ) Getting$270,000 in Fire Radio Equipment

Nearly $270,000 worth of new radio equipment will be purchased by county, to enhance communications with and by Hunterdon’s (NJ) volunteer fire companies.

The equipment is associated with the county fire companies replacing their two-way radios that use the “low band” of frequencies to new sets on the “ultra high frequency” band. Harry J. Heller, supervising communications operator for the county, said today the low-band equipment was first used in Hunterdon in the 1950s. It’s not as popular these days for various reasons and parts are hard to get, he said.

More importantly, the way radio works, UHF waves can more easily go through walls. The better penetration means if a fireman is inside a burning building, “calling for help, it gets out,” he said of the signal.
The largest single equipment purchase is for $119,628 for microwave channel bank equipment. A company called R.F. Design & Integration in Philadelphia will supply the audio and “push-to-talk” signal equipment.
Hunterdon fire companies have begun installing UHF radios in their trucks and stations. While they can be using the new sets to communicate at fire scenes and with each other, the county is not yet broadcasting on UHF, he said. The Federal Communications Commission just last month issued a license to the county for the new radios, paving the way to buy the equipment.

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