At Thursday’s legislative meeting, the Niagara County Legislature accepted a $2.1 million grant that was approved by the Department of Homeland Security to support the county’s effort to enhance radio communication within the fire service.
With this crucial funding, Niagara County will be purchasing for all partner fire companies P-25-compliant portable radios that will be able to function in both analog and digital modes, be programmable and scalable, and have the ability to communicate with existing equipment. The portable radios will also have the ability to program all federal interoperable channels and talk-groups.
Niagara County Legislator David Godfrey, who chairs the community safety and security committee, voiced the significance of the grant.
“Radios are as important to our firefighters as good protective clothing when it comes to entering a burning building to put out a fire or more importantly to save a life,” said Godfrey, R-Wilson. “The dangers when inside a raging inferno are no less than life-threatening and can happen without warning, possibly trapping the firefighter.”
Legislator Jesse Gooch, a volunteer firefighter himself, said “My heartfelt thanks goes to Jonathan Schultz, our director of emergency services, who worked hard to secure these critical FEMA funds.”
In a prepared statement sent to Niagara County Legislature’s public information office, Congressman Chris Collins provided his thoughts on the newly approved funding.
“Providing the necessary funding for our first responders is an excellent use of federal resources,” Collins stated. “Our local heroes need the proper resources to do their jobs and protect our communities. This AFG program funding will provide the Niagara County Fire Service with upgraded radios to ensure they have efficient and effective equipment when responding to emergencies.”