[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Atlantic City as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Public Safety Radio Amplification System
[Adopted 10-3-2007 by Ord. No. 79-2007]
The purpose of this article is to provide minimum standards to ensure a reasonable degree of reliability for emergency services communications from within certain buildings and structures within the City to and from emergency communications centers. It is the responsibility of the emergency service provider to get the signal to and from the building site.
The provisions of this article shall apply to:
New buildings and structures of construction greater than 50,000 square feet or modifications made within any twelve-month period and exceed 50% of the value of the existing building(s) or structure(s), or the use of the property is expanded or enlarged by 50%, which have not received a final inspection prior to the adoption of these provisions; and
All basements or sublevel parking structures over 10,000 square feet where the design occupant load is greater than 50, regardless of the occupancy.
For the purpose of this section, area separation walls cannot be used to define separate buildings.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, no person shall erect, construct or modify any building or structure or any part thereof, or cause the same to be done, which fails to support adequate radio coverage for fire fighters and police officers. A final inspection shall not be approved for any building or structure that fails to comply with this requirement.
The City's Telecommunications Unit, with consideration of the appropriate police, fire and emergency medical department services, at the time the building permit is issued shall determine the frequency range or ranges that must be supported.
A minimum average in-building field strength of eight micro-volts (-88 dBm) throughout 85% of the area of each floor of the building when transmitted from the City's police dispatch center and the appropriate emergency service dispatch centers which are providing fire and emergency medical protection services to the building; (-88 dBm equates to 30 dBu at VHF, 40 dBu at UHF and 45 dBu at 888 mhz.).
If the field strength outside the building where the receive antenna system for the in-building system is located is less than -88 dBm, then the minimum required in-building field strength shall equal the field strength being delivered to the receive antenna of the building.
As used in this article, eighty-five-percent coverage or reliability means the radio will transmit 85% of the time at the field strength and levels as defined in this article.
A minimum average signal strength of four micro-volts (-95 dBm) as received by the City's police dispatch center and the appropriate emergency service dispatch centers which are providing fire and emergency medical protection services to the building; (-95 dBm equates to 24 dBu at VHF, -33 dBu at UHF and -38 dBu at 88 MHz).
If amplification is used in the system, all FCC authorization must be obtained prior to use of the system. A copy of these authorizations shall be provided to the City.
Where buildings and structures are required to provide amenities to achieve adequate signal strength, they shall be equipped with any of the following to achieve the required adequate ratio coverage: radiating cable system(s), internal multiple antenna system(s) with a frequency range as established in §§ 253-4 and 253-5 with amplification system(s) as needed, voting receiver system(s) as needed, or any other City-approved system(s).
If any part of the installed system or systems contains an electrically powered component, the system shall be capable of operation of an independent battery or generator system for a period of at least eight hours without external power input or maintenance. The battery system shall automatically charge in the presence of external power.
Amplification equipment must have adequate environmental controls to meet the heating, ventilation, cooling and humidity requirements of the equipment that will be utilized to meet the requirements of this article. The area where the amplification equipment is located also must be free of hazardous materials such as fuels, asbestos, etc. The location of the amplification equipment must be in an area that has twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week access for the City's telecommunications personnel. All communications equipment, including amplification systems, cable and antenna systems, shall be grounded with a single point ground system of five Ohms or less. The ground system must include an internal tie point within three feet of the amplification equipment. System transient suppression for the telephone circuits, AC power, radio frequency (RF) cabling and grounding protection are required as needed.
The following information shall be provided by an electrical engineer.
A blueprint showing the location of the amplification equipment and associated antenna systems (to include a view showing building access to the equipment); and
Schematic drawings of the electrical, backup power, antenna system and any other associated equipment relative to the amplification equipment including panel locations and labeling.
Tests shall be made using frequencies close to the frequencies used by the police and appropriate emergency services. If testing is done on the actual frequencies, then this testing must be coordinated within the City's Telecommunications Unit All testing must be done on frequencies authorized by the FCC. A valid FCC license will be required if testing is done on frequencies different from the police, fire or emergency medical frequencies.
Measurements shall be made using the following guidelines:
With a service monitor using a unity gain antenna on a small ground plane;
Measurements shall be made with the antenna held in a vertical position at three to four feet above the floor;
A calibrated service monitor (with a factory calibration dated within 24 months) may be used to do the test;
The Telecommunications Unit representative for the City may also make simultaneous measurements to verify that the equipment is making accurate measurements. A variance of 3 db between the instruments will be allowed; and
If measurements in one location are varying, then average measurements shall be used.
All testing shall be done in the presence of or by the City at no expense to the City or appropriate emergency services department.
Signal strength, both inbound and outbound as defined above, shall be measured on each and every floor above and below ground including stairwells, basements, penthouse facilities and parking areas of the structure. The structure shall be divided into fifty-foot grids and the measurements shall be taken at the center of each grid. In critical areas (police substations and fire command posts) the grids shall be subdivided into four twenty-five-foot grids in place of each fifty-foot grid.
Annual tests will be conducted by the City's Telecommunications Unit or appropriate emergency services department. If communications appear to have degraded or if the tests fail to demonstrate adequate system performance, the owner of the building or structure is required to remedy the problem and restore the system in a manner consistent with the original approval criteria in order to obtain a final inspection of occupancy. The retesting will be done at no expense to the City or the appropriate emergency services departments as required in the original testing procedures.