AVON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT WANTS A “YES” VOTE AT DECEMBER 12 REFERENDUM

Residents Urged to Approve Appropriation for P25 Radio Communication System 

Shall the Town of Avon appropriate $3,890,000 for costs related to the Town and Public Safety Communication Radio System Replacement Project, and authorize the issuance of bonds and notes in the same amount to finance the appropriation? That’s a question to be answered by Avon residents who vote in the referendum on Wednesday, December 12, 2018.

The Avon Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) hopes everyone will vote YES. Here’s why:

First responders need to be able to communicate with one another in order to assist the public. Life safety of the public as well as the safety of the AVFD’s volunteers and other emergency responders depends upon effective communications.

Last updated in 1996, the communications network currently used by the Avon Volunteer Fire Department, Avon Police Department, Emergency Management, Department of Public Works, and Avon Public Schools is a conventional analog system. While the Town has contracted with an outside vendor for routine and emergency maintenance of the radio system, continued efforts to keep the system operational will require a considerable capital investment, replacement parts are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and first responders frequently report experiencing coverage gaps and dead spots, most notably on the west side of town.

The Town completed a competitive bid process for consulting services and Federal Engineering was contracted to assess the current system. Rather than continue investing in an antiquated communications system, Federal Engineering recommended the best course of action is to replace it with a 700 MHz radio communication system meeting the Project 25 (P25) standard. Used throughout the United States by local, county, state, and federal agencies, P25 is a nationally-recognized suite of standards developed to provide digital and voice data communications systems specifically for first responders. Endorsed by the US Department of Homeland Security, P25 has been the public safety standard for the last decade and will continue to be the standard for the foreseeable future. In the last two years, at least eight federal, state, and local government entities in Connecticut have purchased and installed P25 radio systems and several others are soliciting proposals from vendors. Following a competitive bid process, Motorola Solutions was selected to provide Avon’s new system.

A new public safety radio communications system will allow:

  • Improved Coverage – The new radio system will provide guaranteed coverage of 95 percent or better across town, including inside buildings where current radio communications capabilities are limited or non-existent. At present, there are buildings in Avon where the only way to communicate with someone outside the building is via land line; some outdoor areas of town have such weak coverage that dispatch has lost contact with first responders.
  • Interoperability – The new radio system will allow members of different departments (e.g., Fire, Police, Board of Education) to communicate directly with one another. At present, with the exception of the School Resource Officer who carries two separate radios, school personnel cannot communicate directly with the police department; they must use a cell phone to contact dispatch who most then contact responding police officers.
  • Ease of Use – The new radio system will automatically select the strongest radio tower for communications with dispatch based on where first responders are located in town. At present, fire personnel and police officers must notice (they are not alerted) they are out of range and manually choose the strongest tower. The radios also have Bluetooth connectivity with the firefighters’ self contained breathing apparatus face masks for better audio clarity in noisy environments.
  • Enhanced Features – The new radio system will have features to benefit not only first responders but all town departments that use the system such as radio location, over the air programming, lone worker monitoring, and emergency alerting to the dispatch center.

A properly maintained and routinely upgraded modern P25 radio system will provide the town with 15-20 more years of service. Details about the cost of the project and the tax impact in dollars are provided in an October 2018 publication produced by the Town of Avon. For further information, click HERE.

About the AVFD

Incorporated in 1943, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department proudly protects more than 18,000 people living in the 22.6 square mile area that makes up the Town of Avon. The Department’s mission is to provide fire suppression and prevention, life safety and rescue support, as well as other community support to the citizens of the Town of Avon. In addition, the Department provides mutual aid support to those surrounding communities that, in time of need, may request such assistance.

Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department prides itself on the selflessness and dedication of its members. The Department operates six companies and 15 pieces of apparatus, including a brush truck, ladder truck, tanker, rescue vehicle, boat, and pumpers. Four stations are located throughout Town – Company 1 on Darling Drive, Company 2 on Secret Lake Road, Company 3 on West Avon Road, and Company 4 on Huckleberry Hill Road. Anyone interested in learning more about the AVFD should call the Avon Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) at 677-2644, visit www.avonvfd.org, connect on Facebook at AvonVFD, or stop by the Company 1 firehouse located at 25 Darling Drive any Monday evening after 7:00.

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AVON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT SEEKS HEALTH AND FITNESS COORDINATOR

Volunteer Will Manage Department’s Fitness Program

The Avon Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) is seeking a new Health and Fitness Coordinator. A volunteer with the AVFD, the Health and Fitness Coordinator (HFC) is integral to the success of the Department’s Wellness and Fitness Initiative.

The AVFD prioritizes physical fitness as an operational necessity, supports self-motivated fitness programs and activities, and recognizes the concept of the firefighter as an occupational athlete that benefits from specific training and assessments to maintain readiness to serve. As such, the Department has adopted the National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) standard on health-related fitness programs for fire department members and seeks to recruit a fitness professional from the local community to join its volunteer corps as the Health and Fitness Coordinator to manage this program.

Qualified candidates must possess certification from a National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA)-accredited organization such as, but not limited to, the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, among several others, and should also have completed academic coursework related to health and fitness education from an institution of higher learning. Must possess the volunteer spirit, and a desire to help the community and the citizens that give their time in the service of their neighbors. Firefighter certification is not required, but applicants with fire service experience will be given preferred consideration.

The selected applicant must be willing to join the AVFD as an administrative support member and may, if desired, participate in firefighter operational training. All services rendered shall be voluntary and non-compensated, but the selected HFC will be eligible for all AVFD benefit and reimbursement programs. Applicants must pass a pre-placement background check and physical examination administered by the department physician.

The complete job description can be viewed HERE. Applications are being accepted for immediate consideration and January start. Applicants need not be Avon residents, and should submit a resume or curriculum vitae for consideration to Avon Volunteer Fire Department, ATTN Medical Officer, 25 Darling Drive, Avon, CT 06001. For further information, call (860) 622-9216, or email medicalofficer@avonvfd.org.

About the AVFD’s Wellness and Fitness Initiative

Directed by Medical Officer Captain Adam Corrado, MD, the AVFD’s Wellness and Fitness Initiative is a comprehensive health and safety program. It is a 10-year progressive plan designed to improve the health and safety of AVFD members and, in turn, enhance the Department’s preparedness and effectiveness in meeting the needs of the community and region.

About the AVFD

Incorporated in 1943, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department proudly protects more than 18,000 people living in the 22.6 square mile area that makes up the Town of Avon. The Department’s mission is to provide fire suppression and prevention, life safety and rescue support, as well as other community support to the citizens of the Town of Avon. In addition, the Department provides mutual aid support to those surrounding communities that, in time of need, may request such assistance.

Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department prides itself on the selflessness and dedication of its members. The Department operates six companies and 15 pieces of apparatus, including a brush truck, ladder truck, tanker, rescue vehicle, boat, and pumpers. Four stations are located throughout Town – Company 1 on Darling Drive, Company 2 on Secret Lake Road, Company 3 on West Avon Road, and Company 4 on Huckleberry Hill Road. Anyone interested in learning more about the AVFD should call the Avon Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) at 677-2644, visit www.avonvfd.org, connect on Facebook at AvonVFD, or stop by the Company 1 firehouse located at 25 Darling Drive any Monday evening after 7:00.

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AVFD Receives FEMA Grant for Equipment

September 27, 2018

AVON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES GRANT FOR FIREFIGHTER EQUIPMENT $277,286 FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Will Help Fund New SCBA The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security have awarded the Avon Volunteer Fire Department $277,286 through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The money will subsidize the purchase of […]

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AVFD Celebrates 75 Years, Plans Carnival, Food Truck Festival, Fireworks & Parade

August 28, 2018

AVON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT CELEBRATES 75 YEARS In Honor of Anniversary Year, Department Plans Carnival, Food Truck Festival, Fireworks, and Parade Now more than halfway through its 75th anniversary year, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) is anxiously awaiting the highlight of all the celebratory events planned for the year – its hosting of the […]

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AVFD Plans Annual 9/11 Memorial Service

August 28, 2018

Remember. Reflect. Recommit. Avon Volunteer Fire Department Plans 9/11 Memorial Service On September 11, 2001 343 FDNY firefighters, 23 NYPD officers, 37 Port Authority Police, and eight private EMS/EMT paramedics made the ultimate sacrifice answering the call. On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, the AVFD will host a memorial service commemorating the lives lost and the […]

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AVFD to Hold Empty Nester Reception

August 28, 2018

Avon Volunteer Fire Department to Hold Empty Nester Reception Kids out of the house? Wondering what to do with all that free time now that the nest is empty? Looking for a fun and exciting way to give back to your community? Look no further than the Avon Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD). The AVFD extends […]

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