Communication systems in Springs, both cellular and emergency, have become unnecessarily politicized and confused. As Councilperson Kathy Burke-Gonzalez pointed out at the last East Hampton Town Board work session, the inability of a resident to utilize a cellphone to call in an emergency can be a matter of life and death. I thank her for pointing this out and hope the entire Town Board recognizes that a public safety emergency exists.
There were comments by some at the work session dismissing this reality as â€śexaggerated,â€ť or as a situation that could be resolved by simply getting or having a land line. However, the inability to make a 911 call not only affects us in a personal emergency, wherever it might occur, it also affects our ability as neighbors to report crimes, fires and accidents to those who stand ready to help us â€” and, in turn, then affects the ability of our first responders to communicate with each other on a daily basis without undue or unnecessary delay.
At the last two Springs Citizens Advisory Committee meetings, the idea of allowing the temporary installation of cell equipment for all three carriers inside the monopole that already exists on the fire department property was discussed. This could be done within 30 to 40 days, as the infrastructure to support the service is already installed. That same site could be used to temporarily house a cell on wheels in the same amount of time, while the â€śpermanent solutionâ€ť of perhaps a larger, taller tower capable of holding heavy emergency equipment is hammered out in what will surely be a very lengthy review process.
As one speaker said at the work session on July 20: Why wait for a catastrophe to happen to find a solution?
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