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A meeting of fire chiefs, representing the volunteer fire departments in Nolan County, was hosted at the Nolan County Sheriffâ€™s Office this past Tuesday evening. Sheriff David Warren presented the five volunteer fire departments with a total of 33 new Kenwood brand portable hand-held radios with accessories. Sheriff Warren has administered the grant funds, received by Nolan County, from the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) grant for the past several years. â€śThese new portable radios represent a major advancement in technology for the area volunteer fire responders.â€ť said Sheriff Warren. â€śThe new radios are capable of both analog and digital operation and will meet the new narrow-banding requirements imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that are mandated for implementation on Jan. 1, 2013. More importantly, these radios will hopefully provide a measure of safety for the individual fire fighter by allowing him or her to have immediate communication with other responders,â€ť Warren explained. According to Sheriff Warren, the expenditure of $32,558.79 for these radios will be fully reimbursed by the SHSP grant funds.
Sheriff Warren was previously successful in getting 20 mobile mounted radios for the same volunteer fire departments for use in their fire engines, brush trucks and tankers. The mobile radios have been in use for over a year now and the cost of $34,530 was also reimbursed to Nolan County by the SHSP grant.
Sheriff Warren stated that, â€śNolan County has been very fortunate to have received some very beneficial grant funding over the past several years and we will continue to work hard to seek out this type of funding which can save the tax-payers money by not having to purchase these items out of the traditional county budget. Over the past eight years, we have been able to bring in over a half-million dollars ($525,134.91) just through this one grant avenue.â€ť
Other equipment on order and soon to be delivered and installed includes; a new radio repeater station for use by Sweetwater Police Department and a new base radio to be utilized by Sweetwater Fire Department. Additionally the TSTC Police Department will be getting new mobile and hand-held radios. Warren explained that all of the equipment is designated as Nolan County property and that the grant allows for the temporary or permanent â€śloan outâ€ť of the property. Nolan County retains responsibility for all property purchased with the grant funds and handles the inventory and documentation paperwork.
â€śIt has been a great to work with the various volunteer fire departments through this very trying fire season and we take pleasure in being able to see them finally have the same communications capability as any full-time paid fire agency,â€ť Warren concluded.