Fire Fighting in Canada

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Fire chiefs warn Industry Canada not to allocate emergency airwaves to public

June 2006 - OTTAWA (CP) – Fire chiefs are urging Industry Canada to abandon plans to allow skiers, hunters and snowmobilers to use two-way radios in a bandwidth that has traditionally been reserved for emergency first-responders.

December 14, 2007
By Fire Fighting in Canada

June 2006 – OTTAWA (CP) – Fire chiefs are urging Industry Canada to abandon plans to allow skiers, hunters and snowmobilers to use two-way radios in a bandwidth that has traditionally been reserved for emergency first-responders.

The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs said in April that Industry Canada's plan to take the 150-megahertz bandwidth away from fire services will rob a “huge majority'' of fire departments, fire trucks and fire fighters of a key tool in dispatch and at incident scenes.

CAFC president Michael Eddy noted the 150 MHz bandwidth can penetrate building walls and glass, making it ideal for communicating with firefighters who have entered burning buildings to save lives.

Industry Canada, the department responsible for allocating bandwidth, wants to open 150 MHz to private users within five years and Eddy said it has provided no assurance that alternative bandwidths will be made available to emergency services.

Giving up the bandwidth will place Canadians and Canadian fire fighters at unnecessary risk, according to Eddy.W


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