NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP)- The North Platte Fire Department has used the same radio system for several years. In order to make sure everyone is safe, communication is very important. So in order to improve on that they are going to improve their technology with their radio systems.
Firefighters use their radios to communicate. They have applied for a grant in hopes to improve this technology so they can have improved communication and safety. (SOURCE: Kaylie Crowe KNOP-TV)
The radio system the fire fighters currently use is about 20 years old. New radio systems are now digital and they need to upgrade. When they’re on a fire scene they are unable to be on a channel thats recorded so if their was a serious incident dispatch is not hearing whats going on on the scene.
Trent Kleinow, the Assistant Fire Chief says it is a safety concern.
“To us it’s a major safety issue to not be on repeated channels when we’re on a fire scene is extremely dangerous. But also our medical calls. When we go into a house and we can’t reach dispatch on our radios, we have had guys in peoples houses in very violent situations and they have no way of radioing out to let dispatch know to send law enforcement,” said Kleinow.
They have applied for the Assistance to Firefighters grant.
“Communications is top priority this year for the,for these grants. So we feel like our situation is pretty good for it,” said Kleinow.
The city would do a ten percent match if they are honored the grant. The grant is around 400-500 thousand dollars. Other issues they have had include getting in contact with dispatch when they are out of town. The new digital radios give them better range to contact dispatch.
Most places now have the digital radio systems so they cannot communicate with them. With the new radio system they’ll be able to combine what they once used multiple radios for into one system. With the new radio system they’ll be able to combine that into one system. They will know by the end of this year if they are successful in receiving the grant.