Fire Departments Wanted for DTV Assistance

It turns out, losing TV really is an emergency.

Don’t call 911 yet, but the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the FCC want fire and rescue departments around the country to help people get their Digital TV converter boxes up and running in time for the June 12 end of full-power analog over-the-air TV.

Other than community goodwill and the knowledge that they’ve helped other humans, what’s in it for the firefighters? As the U.S. Fire Administration noted in an announcement about the program, the DTV transition is freeing up spectrum for public-safety needs; and in an emergency, television is still the top source of emergency information.

“It is in the interest of fire departments to ensure that their communities have access to this information,” USFA said.

Under the program, the International Association of Fire Chiefs is recruiting departments to volunteer for the converter-box duty and assisting with the dispatching, and the FCC is establishing call centers that will troubleshoot problems over the phone and request personal assistance from a cadre of national volunteers—including fire and emergency service personnel—if needed.

In addition USFA said fire departments could also use the in-home contacts with the community to do some fire safety education and inspection, as well as identify at-risk residents.

Interested departments can fill out this online form.

Or, e-mail, or call IAFC at (703) 537-4854.

From Government Video.