CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. ? The Franklin Fire Co. announced Friday it has received a $196,800 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help purchase new portable and mobile radios for its firefighters and vehicles.
The funds from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program will help the company purchase 12 mobile radios and 31 portable radios, as well as chargers, microphones and other accessories, that will be compatible with Franklin County's upgraded public safety radio system, set to become operational in January 2008, Fire Chief Mark Trace said.
"We expect to be ready when the county throws the switch," Trace said.
The county has embarked on a $4 million project to upgrade its radio system, which now operates on a variety of bandwidths. For example, many fire companies and ambulance squads use low-band radios that cannot communicate directly with police departments and other public safety services.
Because first responders sometimes cannot communicate directly, county dispatchers often have to relay information between them. The new county radio system will be UHF, and public safety services will need compatible radio equipment.