Berrendo Volunteer Fire Department and the Roswell Parks and Recreation Department are to begin using the dispatch tower located on Comanche Hill in Chaves County for radio communications.
The addition of the agencies w as voted in unanimously by four city, law enforcement and emergency services officials at a Pecos Valley Regional Communications Center Board meeting Thursday. PVRCC oversees dispatch services in the county.
Chaves County Sheriff Rob Coon, Roswell Fire Chief Chad Hamill, Roswell City Manager Larry Fry and Roswell Police Department Deputy Chief Brad McFadin voted on the measure to add the agencies to the new tower.
Other local government agency staff attended the meeting, as well.
The newly added agencies will use tower space and frequencies that are currently unoccupied.
Fry said law enforcement and other emergency services agencies will be able to use the frequencies as needed.
In other business, PVRCC Director Tracey Laney announced the status of various upgrades to systems used by the communications center.
He said the upgrade of the entire 911 system operated by PVRCC from analog to digital was complete.
The upgrade was paid for with state funds, according to Laney. He said he did not know the total cost.
The conversion of PVRCC radios from wide to narrow band frequencies is complete, Laney said. He said some licenses are still being processed for the new addresses of backup repeaters. Repeaters are used to amplify frequencies from tower antennas.
In 2012, the Federal Communications Commission mandated that all radio transmitters nationwide begin using narrow frequencies to minimize congestion caused by wide frequencies, according to Laney.
Laney mentioned that PVRCC is preparing to update its console radio system.
Meeting attendees also discussed plans to re-license the Comanche tower from a license allowing for the tower’s current height of 300 feet to a license allowing a tower height of 320 feet.
The extension will make the tower more efficient, according to Hamill.
Construction of the Comanche Tower was completed in 2011 and the tower became operable in 2012. It was built in order to help the county communications system comply with FCC’s narrow band frequency requirement.
The tower is one of 12 that provide frequencies for local government agencies in the county. It provides frequencies for county fire departments, Roswell police, the sheriff’s office, a special nationwide federal channel that allows agencies to communicate across jurisdictions and the two newly added agencies.
Laney announced toward the end of the meeting that PVRCC is down two dispatchers and seeking applicants.