Fire Alarm Problem Between Hampstead and Derry to be Fixed

HAMPSTEAD – The alarm system at the municipal building in Chester has experienced technical difficulties stemming from the Derry dispatching center, as previously reported in the Tri-Town Times, and Hampstead Fire Chief Michael Carrier acknowledged that his department has experienced a few minor glitches as well.

Carrier, who said the problems are not life-threatening issues, said Derry Fire Chief George Klauber has assured him the situation will be rectified within a matter of days.
“The issue is in reference to the radio box receivers in Derry dispatch,” Carrier said. “The system allows a radio signal to be sent from a specified location and then received by Derry. The problem is one of Derry’s receiver sites – the Hampstead Road station – had an equipment failure, which created an issue of not being able to receive the radio signal. There is also a duplicate receive site located at their central station, which is still working, but may not receive the signal, depending on topography from the transmit site to the receive site.
“Based on our tests and information, Hampstead had some locations that didn’t test in,” Carrier acknowledged Oct. 2. “So we went to those locations and manually tested the alarm. Very limited locations did not get received. The owners of the buildings are aware of the current situation. Based on information received (Oct. 1), the system may be fully operational by Monday or Tuesday.
“This issue is not a life safety issue, as the alarm system will still activate, whereas the occupants will know if there is an issue and be able to evacuate the building,” Carrier explained. “The problem is that if there is a fire in the building and no one is in there to notify the fire department, then the alarm will transmit but will not be received and therefore cause a delay in response.”
Hampstead Fire Department has recently changed its frequency and has been working out various glitches in getting the new system up and running to the standard required. However, Carrier doesn’t see any of the current issues as necessitating any action, as the issues are known, being addressed and are within the limits of what the department can handle.
“The frequency change doesn’t have anything to do with the radio box issue,” he added. “They are completely separate.”
According to Derry Fire Battalion Chief Mike Gagnon, a new radio box receiver unit has been ordered and was expected to be received Monday or Tuesday.
In a phone interview Friday, Gagnon said the Communications Center had been unable to receive some calls due to the defective receiver. He noted the failure did not affect all the radio boxes.
The radio box that failed was in the Hampstead Road station, and affected service to Hampstead and Chester.

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