Grants for portable radios
Hey, folks....looking for some input here....I would like to write our '06 AFG grant for some portable radios...Now, having said that, I'm anticipating problems and would like to know if anyone has successfully dealt with them..to wit:
Interoperability...that's one of the big buzz words nowadays, especially when applying for grant money. I know only a little bit about the new P25 initiative (meaning that I've heard of it, basically). I understand that they want all our radio equipment to be compatible with the new 700 mHz "public safety" band that's supposed to be coming. Problem is this...I know that you can buy radios that can function on both 700 and 800 mHz bands, but we're not on 800, we're on UHF. I am not aware of any plans to switch to 800 in our area. You CANNOT get a radio that functions as both UHF and 700 mHz. Therefore, we would not be able to use the new P25 compatible radios. (someone with some background in this, please correct me if I got any of this wrong).
In a nutshell, the "new generation" radios would be useless to us.
Cost....the new P25 compliant radios are around $2,500 - $3,000 (and would be of no use to us...see above) I can get USEFUL radios for about 1/3 of that price...hence, more guys with radios.
NFPA compliance....Ideally, every guy on the fireground should have a portable radio. The more radios I am able to afford, the more guys I can equip with a radio (more bang for the buck).
Has anyone had success getting funding for radios that are not "new generation"? If so, did you have any problems with these issues, and how did you address them? Any and all input is appreciated. Thanks