Another horrendous move by DC Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Paul Quander is meeting great resistance by fire chiefs in at least three suburban jurisdictions. Quander plans to go against decades of hard work and progress by the fire departments throughout the National Capital region to create a seamless radio network for mutual aid response.
According to WTTG-TV/FOX 5 reporter Paul Wagner, Quander’s plan to encrypt all except the disptach talk groups for the DC Fire & EMS Department is being met by great resistance from fire chiefs in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and Arlington County. All believe the loss of interoperability between the jurisdictions a threat to the safety of firefighters and the public. Wagner says Montgomery County Department of Fire & Rescue has gone so far as to say that with if encryption occurs the department may not honor requests for mutual aid to the District of Columbia.
This comes at a time when another major foul-up by Quander and former DC Chief Kenneth Ellerbe made news. Over the weekend it was announced that seven of DC’s 16 ladder trucks have been sidelined because they failed inspection. Quander and Ellerbe failed to make sure the fleet had been properly inspected and maintained during their more than three years in charge. They also failed to purchase new apparatus.
Interim Chief Eugene Jones, who brought the inspection issue to light, had hoped to call on mutual aid companies to assist with DC’s shortage of ladder trucks. That may now be in jeopardy by the latest stupid move by Paul Quander.
DC fire department to encrypt its radio channels; local fire chi – DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG