The minutes of the Burlington County Fire Services Advisory Board meeting of

January 9, 2003.


Chairperson Thaddeus Lowden called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.


Members present:   Craig Augustoni           Thaddeus Lowden                   Robert Rose

                              Calvin Mattson             James McKendrick                 David Gsell

                              Joseph Saiia                 Harold DeLaRoi                     


From EMS:            Richard Archer             John Lord                                William Warren


The minutes from the November 2002 meeting were approved on a motion from Mr. Augustoni, second by Mr. Mattson.


Mr. DeLaRoi announced that the FAB was re-appointed by the Freeholder Board and will serve while the Legal Department reviews the proposed new by-laws. Upon approval, the Freeholders will appoint a new BURLINGTON COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES ADVISORY BOARD.




Fire Science – In the absence of Mr. Kenneth Anderson, a written report was distributed.


Training Center – Mr. Gsell reported good progress with construction. Weather is causing minor problems, but the Forman believes he can make up time later.


Catalogs for the Winter/Fall 2003 semester are in the fire stations. There are 60 courses this semester.


Senior Instructor Barry Luckenbill has transferred to Emergency Management. This creates a position opening at the Center and the County has moved forward to fill it.


The air trailer arrived on 1/9/03 and the pumper should arrive the week of 1/12/03.


Mr. Saiia added that personnel hearings for the Department were held on 1/9/03 and that verbal approval was given to a full time EMS Instructor position. The County is attempting to determine a correct title for the position, which can be filled after 4/1/03.


Mr. Lord requested clarification as to the function and duties of the position. Mr. Gsell will contact him in that regard. Mr., Saiia agreed that Mr. Gsell would distribute a copy of the draft position description for input from the full Board. The Board appreciated Mr. Saiia’s efforts to gather their input and all members understood that this is an advisory effort only.




Radio – Mr. Saiia reported nine tower sites completed. These include:

              Palmyra, Mansfield, Pemberton, Mt Laurel, Westampton, Woodland,

              Bass River, Washington, and Medford.


Status on remaining towers as follows:

            Bordentown – Tower is up and equipment being installed.

            Tabernacle – Pinelands approved site, but still need township zoning approval.

                                  Mr. Saiia states this is a key tower that impacts our ability to

                                  provide an early phase-in of the Simulcast Alerting system.

            Browns Mills – Pinelands approval is needed, although zoning should not be an 


            Florence – Moving along well, but awaiting NJTPA Legal Dept to complete a


            Sweetwater – Pinelands has approved but there are zoning issues with the


            Warren Grove – Pinelands has turned this site down and the County is exploring

                                       other possibilities. They may need to go back to Pinelands for

                                       another review.

            Burlington City – County is waiting for the City to approve a inter-local services


            North Hanover – Not enough interest as a vendor tower. The County will most

                                        likely construct the tower. The Township has approved the site.


Mr. Saiia is finalizing the fire radio inventory. If the latest inventory survey isn’t returned, he will assume the last survey to be correct and will work off of it.


He is working with the military bases on provisioning of radios. Allocations will be determined when all Burlington County’s needs are met.


He notes less then 50% of EMS returned surveys.


Installation of Fire/EMS radios will begin at the end of January.


Fleet mapping is conceptually approved by the Fire/EMS Communications Liaison Committee.


There are start up issues. Need significant compliance by 4/1/03 as per FCC license.

Will use channels to test.


Training on the new system needs further developing.


Looking to the fall for operation.


Public Safety Center rehab is moving along. Will not move into during January, possibly end of February. Portions of Central Communications need to move in March.


Mr. Lowden noted that the time line for completion and operation of the radio system is approximately six months later then had been represented by he, the Director and members of the Board. There was significant discussion as to how this occurred. Mr. Lowden asked what could be done to make-up for the delay. He and the members of the Board were, in general, surprised at the delay, especially with the importance of the project. Mr. DeLaRoi and Mr. Saiia provided numerous explanations but appeared not to have any solid remedy to make up the time.


Mr. Lowden reminded Mr. DeLaRoi and Mr. Saiia that many municipalities jumped through some significant administrative “hoops” to assure that they were able to purchase equipment to make the radio system work within their municipality by December 31. He pointed out that this equipment would now be sitting in fire and EMS station storage rooms for almost a full year. Mr. DeLaRoi and Mr. Saiia agreed.


Mr. Lowden asked how many radios were installed in fire and EMS vehicles as of this very point in time. Mr. Saiia responded, “none”. Mr. Saiia further indicated that the installation period was behind schedule.


Significant discussion took place on the issue with the members of the Board echoing Mr. Lowden’s points. Mr. DeLaRoi and Mr. Saiia provided that portions of the system will be up for “testing” in the spring, with portions being turned on from that point. Mr. Lowden commented that this was not what was planned and that the system was supposed to be operational by spring. Mr. Saiia agreed.





Liability insurance for County Fire Police Officers is being reviewed by the County’s Risk Management Office. Members received a written report.




Nomination for 2003 Officers was opened. Mr. Augustoni nominated Mr. Lowden for Chairperson. Mr. McKendrick nominated Mr. Augustoni for Vice-Chair Person. The board approved both.


It was noted that the officers would serve until the new ESAB is created, then the same persons will continue in these elected positions.








Mr. Augustoni praised Mr. Saiia and Mr. DeLaRoi for there efforts with the new radio system.


The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM on a motion by Mr. Augustoni, second by Mr. Mattson.


The next meeting will be held March 13, 2002 at 7:30 PM in the Freeholder Board Room.