1. #1
    Forum Member

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    Oct 2005
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    Default Communications Grant

    I will present my situation and *hopefully* you guys can come up with some suggestions.

    My department has had numerous problems with low band radios, especially portables. Mostly range problems, but also lack of choice in products to buy.

    3 years ago, we installed our first crossband repeater. Now, our officers carry VHF portables and are capable of interagency ops. The PD, EMS, and EMA all use VHF (150-160 Mhz).

    There is a push for the entire county to switch to VHF, however the county doesn't have the money to do it.

    A number of departments have installed different crossband repeating systems, however none have extreme range, so they end up switching to each others repeaters depending where the call is. All this is to get them back to low band, so they can communicate with the county and other low band units.

    What I would like to do is install the VHF infrastructure for the entire area. I know my company would begin using it immediately, and it is likely that many more would hop on as time progresses. The infrastructure would include a centrally located, high power crossband repeater, a VHF tactical repeater, paging transmitter, and tactical channels. Eventually, most if not all companies would probably switch to this.

    My question is... would a grant pay for this for just one company? Or would it be considered regional? Not necessarily just the FEMA grants, but are more out there?

    Thanks,
    Jon
    Last edited by chiefeng7; 01-06-2006 at 10:06 PM. Reason: Clarification

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

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    Default

    Your best approach to this is through a regional grant application where you are the lead. Based on the info most if not all of the departments would use the suggested system. These types of communication systems can become very expensive. A number of regional grants have been approved this year for communication equipment in excess of a $500,000 and 1 nearly $1,000,000.

    If you have everyone involved then each department will share in the matching fund requirement. Don't put yourself in a postion that you incur all the costs and everyone else reaps the benefits.

    I do believe Homeland Security has grant programs aimed at communication systems.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    FH Mag/.com Contributor

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    Default

    Without having every department in the area involved in the grant it will be hard to sell the cost benefit since your department would be the only one more or less "guaranteed" to be using it because no one else would be buying the radios as part of the grant like you would be.

    If the county is responsible for the overall infrastructure of the communications system, then they should be able to go after Homeland Security Grants. Otherwise, a regional effort is about the lone shot at fixing the situation. It is not likely that it will be reviewed well if it is just a single dept app for something whose main buzzword is "interoperability", and you can't help but state that other departments "might" jump on board. Especially since it sounds like no one in the area can afford to upgrade without a grant.

    And if this is the project choice, the time to get moving on it has passed. Ask anyone around here who has done a regional communications application and there will be very little sleep in your future if you are going to be the host.

    Good Luck - Brian
    Brian P. Vickers
    www.vickersconsultingservices.com
    Emergency Services Consulting
    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

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