Meeting Minutes


Meeting Date: October 4, 2007


Minutes of the Burlington County Emergency Services Advisory Board for October 4, 2007.


Vice-Chairperson Craig Augustoni called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M.


Members present:     Richard Archer             Lee Daneker                        C. Kenneth Anderson

                               Craig Augustoni            Phil Drangula                       David Gsell

                               John Augustino             Donald Horner                      Joseph Lehmann

                               Joseph Saiia


Minutes from the previous meeting were approved.




FIRE SCIENCE:  Preparation for re-accreditation of the program continues with ESTC staff providing assistance.  The Advisory Committee meets on 10/30/07.

TRAINING: Mr. Gsell reports the spring catalog is being put together.  The new facilities on the training ground are in design phase.  Final review of plans will be 10/19/07, with bids going out shortly thereafter. Projected completion is 9/2008.  Rehab of existing builds will be done after new buildings.  Software for FireTrax system has been delivered. FFI & EMT classes will receive first cards.

RADIO:  Mr. Saiia reports Warren Grove tower moving along OK.  The Sweetwater shelter is ordered with no delivery date. The tower is up, however.  The 2008 budget is being prepared and digital paging is being proposed for Central infrastructure. Reprogramming of radios still in progress.  One radio tech resigned and request to fill has been put in.  Pictometry is out to bid.  Grants have been received for purchase of Firehouse Software.  Mr. Saiia notes that Fire and EMS are going back and forth over Firehouse Software vs. EMS Charts. Would like this cleaned up soon.  He noted the radio policy training is going well. Praised Sr. Insts. Bigoss and Taylor for their work.  Had a failure at the Burlington City water tower of the microwave unit. 960 microwave was down 11 days due to bad controller. County approved a spare one for $15,000.  Interference on the radios is coming from 200-300 miles away and not much can be done.  He is looking at a long range, 5 year plan with wide area and point-to-point signal system. It will be in a public Safety 4.9 GHz band area.  Mr. Saiia reminded the members that extended warranties expire 12/31/07 and that departments need to budget for this.  He has been getting requests to shut off assigned radios due to fire house conflicts. He stated the County will do it, but request needs to be in writing.

Mr. Horner questioned digital paging implementation. Mr. Saiia stated that, if approved, capital will be available 7/1/08, with 6 months to implement.









Vice-Chairperson Augustoni requested formal approval of Joseph Lehman as Chief Fire Coordinator. A motion was made and second to approve. The motion passed.

Mr. Lehman briefed the members on Firehouse Software and the progress to date. Record keeping, NFIRS, pre-planning, training, etc will be available initially. Stations will need internet connection. He further stated that the system will have benefits for both services. County IT will have support available to users and they will maintain the server and internet connections.  Mr. Archer stated EMS does not want Firehouse and that this was brought out previously. They want to remain with County based reporting. EMS Charts goes directly to the hospital, whereas, Firehouse does not. EMS would like County Health Dept. to research data being input on EMS Charts and Firehouse cannot do that. EMS Charts will export their data back to Firehouse.


Mr. Archer stated that he and EMS want EMS Charts supported by the County for EMS and Firehouse for fire reporting, data, etc.  He further stated that State DOH, Office of EMS is going with Charts and possibly $1.5 million towards funding for those using Charts.  The Burlington County First Aid Council’s goal is to have all EMS squads use Charts for data collection.  Mr. Lehmann reviewed Mr. Archer’s comments. He further stated he does not want conflict, which could kill the project. He felt Fire and EMS need to push the project forward.  At this point, Vice-Chairperson Augustoni requested a motion to support a “Resolution” from the ESAB that they endorse EMS Charts for the EMS service and Firehouse Software for the fire service. The motion was made, second, and passed. This endorsement will be forwarded in writing to the Board of Chosen Freeholders. 


Mr. Gsell briefed the Board on this years’ Life Time Achievement Award. Will begin advertising the LTAA and that the ESAB needs to be the advocate of the Award. On a motion, the ESAB voted in favor of the Award.




Seeing no further business to come before the ESAB, the meeting adjourned at 7:52 hours.


The next meeting will be Thursday, December 6, 2007, beginning at 7:00 P.M.