Communications Tower a Work in Progress at BFD#2

The Bellmore Fire District is presently in discussions with Mayday Communications to configure an 85-foot communications tower that would be placed on the property of the Bellmore Fire Department’s Station House No. 2 on Bellmore Avenue and Beech Avenue in south Bellmore.

Two public meetings at the station house held in November 2017 and early winter of this year revealed the station house’s plan to improve its overall communications within its operations and to provide better communications among other station houses in the Bellmore Fire Department.

Jordan Leibner, vice-president of station house #2 at 2670 Bellmore Avenue, told Your NewsMag recently that the new tower would be designed to “improve overall communications within the station house, at no cost to taxpayers.”

John Coughlin, principal at Coughlin, Re, Nielsen, Huber and Coughlin, attorneys for Elite Towers, which will construct the tower, told Your NewsMag that technicians from Mayday Communications  of Farmingdale were working closely with the Bellmore Fire District to work out communications parameters in areas such as screen analytics, two-way radio recordings, cabinetry and safety, as examples.

He said the construction of the tower would be determined by the configuration or suite of communications the station house needs to improve its communications. “Evaluations are still taking place in determining the type of antenna” needed for the communications required, he said.

“Their communications had become inadequate” for the increased need to fully and adequately serve the community it responds to, Coughlin said of the reason for the new communications tower.

Station House No. 2 Board of Trustee Jay Podolsky told Your NewsMag that Superstorm Sandy taught the fire departments with the fire district valuable lessons in the need for having proper and working communications. The volume of the emergencies station house #2 encountered in south Bellmore coupled with communications equipment in use during that time greatly slowed the department’s abilities to respond quickly to myriad distress calls, though respond they did.

Your NewsMag witnessed flooding of Merrick Road east of Bellmore Road by Mill Pond at high tide as Superstorm Sandy came ashore, the area eerily dark as the silence was broken by the continual wail of fire engine sirens all evening in the south Bellmore area.

Polodosky further explained the need for the communications tower as being a “proactive” measure to endure the station house – and the fire department – features the latest communications equipment to enable a quick and decisive response in the face of a changing climate and caution of more severe storms in the future.

Coughlin said the tower may encourage private radio transmission companies in the future to lease the pole in the future, as a means to provide more complete coverage of the south Bellmore area.

He noted that while early protests of such towers being constructed centered on the effects of radio frequency waves that were thought to be harmful, the federal government in 1996 wrote new laws suggesting these protests were unproven by existing research, and should not be considered  by governing agencies when deciding to build towers.

He added that the Town of Hempstead rewrote ordinances that regulated the placement of smaller RF boxes hung on telephone poles in neighborhoods designed to improve cell phone coverage.

“Because of these town ordinances, any private radio transmission company would be encouraged to lease space” on the tower to improve its coverage, Coughlin said.

Podolsky would say only that the tower was not being built for that purpose, but if such companies approached the station house and department in the future, it could be considered.

Because fire departments are non-profit organizations, they would be able to recirculate any revenue generated from private companies using their poles back into their operations.

  • DOUGLAS FINLAY

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