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Township of West Whiteland, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Whiteland 5-10-2005 by Ord. No. 329. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Supervisors finds that the ability of police, fire, ambulance, and other emergency providers and personnel to communicate with each other within buildings and structures, and to communicate from within structures and buildings to personnel and locations outside the building and structure, is of vital public importance. A breakdown in communications among emergency providers and personnel creates a serious risk of harm to and is a serious threat to the safety and welfare of emergency personnel, the citizens of West Whiteland Township and the public in general. Therefore, pursuant to the police power, the Board enacts this chapter to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this chapter and as used elsewhere in this Code, have the meanings shown herein.
APCO
Association of Public Safety Communication Officials International.
NABER
National Association of Business and Education Radio.
CCDES
Chester County Department of Emergency Services.
PCIA
Personal Communications Industry Association.
FCC
Federal Communications Commission.
NPSPAC
National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee.
A. 
Except as otherwise provided, no person shall erect, construct, alter, refit, change the use of or provide an addition of more than 20% of the existing floor area to any building or structure or a part thereof or cause the same to be done, which fails to support adequate radio coverage for CCDES, the West Whiteland Township Fire Department and the West Whiteland Township Police Department. For the purposes of this chapter, adequate radio coverage shall include all of the following:
(1) 
A minimum signal strength of -95dBM available in 95% of the area of each floor of the building when transmitted from the closest CCDES radio communications systems site.
[Amended 2-10-2016 by Ord. No. 432]
(2) 
A minimum signal strength of -95dBM received at the closest CCDES radio communications site when transmitted from 95% of the area of each floor of the building.
[Amended 2-10-2016 by Ord. No. 432]
(3) 
The frequency range, which must be supported from 763 MHz to 861 MHz.
[Amended 2-10-2016 by Ord. No. 432]
(4) 
A ninety-percent reliability factor.
(5) 
Signal strength measurements, for the purpose of measuring the performance of a bidirectional amplifier, shall be based on one input signal adequate to obtain a maximum continuous operating output level.
B. 
The provisions of this chapter shall become applicable upon notification to the property owner that unacceptable levels exist. The property owner shall have 90 days from date of notification to enhance radio coverage and bring it within the acceptable limits of these provisions.
[Amended 2-10-2016 by Ord. No. 432]
Buildings and structures which cannot support the required level of radio coverage shall be equipped with either a radiating cable system or an internal multiple antenna system with or without FCC type accepted bidirectional 800 MHz amplifiers as needed. If any part of the installed system or systems contains an electrically powered component, the system shall be capable of operating on an independent battery and/or generator system for a period of at least 12 hours without external power input. The battery system shall charge in the presence of an external power input. If used, bidirectional amplifiers shall include filters to reduce adjacent frequency interference at 35 dB below the NPSPAC band. Settings used should not attenuate the NPSPAC frequencies and further provided that they are not more than one MHz from the NPSPAC frequencies.
A. 
Acceptance test procedure:
(1) 
When an in-building radio system is required, and upon completion of installation, it will be the building owner's responsibility to have the radio system tested to ensure that two-way coverage on each floor of the building is a minimum of 95%. Each floor of the building shall be divided into a grid of approximately 20 equal areas. A maximum of two nonadjacent areas will be allowed to fail the test. In the event that three of the areas fail the test, in order to be more statistically accurate, the floor may be divided into 40 equal areas. In such event, a maximum of four nonadjacent areas will be allowed to fail the test. After the 40 area tests, if the system continues to fail, the building owner shall have the system altered to meet the ninety-five-percent coverage requirement. The test shall be conducted using the most current portable radio, or its equivalent, available to the West Whiteland Township Police and/or Fire Department, talking through the CCDES as specified by the authority having jurisdiction. A spot located approximately in the center of a grid area will be selected for the test; then the radio will be keyed to verify two-way communications to and from the outside of the building through the CCDES. Once the spot has been selected, prospecting for a better spot within the grid area will not be permitted.
[Amended 2-10-2016 by Ord. No. 432]
(2) 
The gain values of all amplifiers shall be measured, and the test measurement results shall be kept on file with the building owner so that the measurements can be verified each year during the annual tests. In the event that the measurement results become lost, the building owner will be required to rerun the acceptance test to reestablish the gain values.
B. 
Annual tests. When an in-building radio system is required, the building owner shall test all active components of the system, including but not limited to amplifiers, power supplies and backup batteries, a minimum of once every 12 months. Amplifiers shall be tested to ensure that the gain is the same as it was upon initial installation and acceptance. Backup batteries and power supplies shall be tested under load for a period of one hour to verify that they will properly operate during an actual power outage. If within the one-hour test period, in the opinion of the testing technician, the battery exhibits symptoms of failure, the test shall be extended for additional one-hour periods until the testing technician confirms the integrity of the battery. All other active components shall be checked to determine that they are operating within the manufacturer's specifications for the intended period.
[Amended 2-10-2016 by Ord. No. 432]
C. 
Five-year tests. In addition to the annual test, the building owner shall perform a radio coverage test a minimum of once every five years to ensure that the radio system continues to meet the requirements of the original acceptance test. The procedure set forth above shall apply to such tests. A copy of accepted tests shall be provided to the Chester County Emergency Services Engineering Department.
D. 
Qualifications of testing personnel. All tests shall be conducted, documented and signed by a person in possession of a current FCC technician license or a current technician certification issued by the APCO, NABER, or the PCIA. All test records shall be retained on the inspected premises by the building owner and a copy submitted to officials of the West Whiteland Fire Company and the West Whiteland Township Police Department.
[Amended 2-10-2016 by Ord. No. 432]
Police and fire personnel, after providing reasonable notice to the owner or his representative, shall have the right to enter onto the property to conduct field testing to be certain that the required level of radio coverage is present.
This chapter shall not apply to structures in Use Groups R-3 and R-4 of the International Building Code, any building constructed of wood frame, any building 35 feet high or less, as long as none of the aforementioned buildings make use of any metal construction or any underground storage or parking areas. For purposes of this chapter, parking structures and stairwells are included in the definition of "building" and stair shafts are included in the definition of "all parts of a building," but elevators may be excluded.
Any nonexempt building or structure existing, under construction or for which a building permit application is pending or has been provided as of the effective date of this chapter, shall comply with the requirements of this chapter if the CCDES, West Whiteland Township Fire Department or West Whiteland Township Police Department determines that adequate radio coverage as defined in § 148-3 of this chapter does not exist in the building or structure. The owner of the building or structure shall be notified, in writing, of the inadequacy of the coverage and shall have a period of 90 consecutive calendar days from the date of the notice to comply with this chapter, including but not limited to enhancing radio coverage and bringing it within the acceptable limits of this chapter.
Any person who violates or commits the violation of any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a fine in the amount of at least $150, but not to exceed $1,000, plus all court costs. In addition, the Township, through its Solicitor, may institute injunctive, mandamus or any other appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity for the enforcement of this chapter.