Outside Company to Evaluate Starke County Radio Communication System

An outside company will be evaluating Starke County’s radio system for the firefighters in order to come to a firm conclusion on what issues plague the radio communication with the county and firefighters and the firefighters themselves.

Firefighters have been expressing extreme issues with communications with county officials for several months and while some problems have been repaired, other large problems still exist. 

Starke County Fire Association President Kenny Pfost told the Starke County Commissioners Monday night that he spoke with IT Director Richard Franks who said it was a training issue on the part of the firefighters. 

“The fire chiefs and I had a meeting and we do agree, to a certain extent, that we do need to get better at switching off the dispatch channel and moving to an attack channel or fire ground channel once we’re on scene,” said Pfost.  “However, the problems that are being described from the majority of the departments, there’s no way possible it’s a training issue.”

Pfost said calls continue to be missed and there is no portable or mobile communication for the firefighters. 

He proposed asking an outside company to evaluate the system to pinpoint the issue. 

Miner Electronics can do an evaluation at a cost of $1,200. 

Commission President Charlie Chesak suggested that fire officials, rather than the commissioners, explain to company representatives what specific problems are plaguing the firefighters. 

Commissioner Kathy Norem said the quote is a good investment to get down to the underlying complication. 

The commissioners unanimously approved a motion to allow Miner Electronics to evaluate the system.  Where to go from information in that report will be discussed in a future meeting.