Oct. 31, 2012 — Carter County emergency responders soon will be getting new radios, thanks in part to a $28,000 Homeland Security grant.
Tommy Thompson, E-911 director, said the money will replace aging radios in fire trucks, police cars and the coroner's office.
The county applied for $97,000 to replace mobile and portable radios in order to comply with new, narrow banding radio regulations which go into effect on Jan. 1.
The larger grant would have covered mobile radios, which are installed in vehicles, in addition to hand-held devices.
The $28,000 grant will only be used for in-vehicle radios.
“That will go to the Olive Hill Police Department, Grayson Police Department, Carter County Sheriff's Office, all five fire departments and the coroner’s office,” said Thompson. “Sadly, most fire departments don't have enough money to replace their radios.”
Hand-held radios cost between $250 and $400 each and Thompson said replacing them would be necessary.
“If they have hand-helds that don’t narrow band, I don’t know what they will do,” Thompson said. “As you use a radio, the weaker it gets, so a lot of these radios won’t work well on narrow band. I can try to find another grant, but they are few and far between.”
Carter County emergency workers will need another $40,000 to replace their aging equipment.
“We are grateful for what we have, and once we get the paperwork from Frankfort, get it signed and turned in, we can order the radios,” Thompson said.
The radios will be programed by members of the Olive Hill Fire Department, which will alleviate some changeover costs.