Grant funds new firefighter radios

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By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter

 Firefighters gather after battling a fatal fire in Northborough on Sept. 10.   Photo/Laura Hayes
Firefighters gather after battling a fatal fire in Northborough on Sept. 10.
(Photo/Laura Hayes)

NORTHBOROUGH – The Northborough Fire Department will be purchasing new radios thanks to a grant through the Federal Emergency Agency (FEMA).

Fire Chief David Parenti told the Community Advocate that the grant is being administered through FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program

Northborough will be receiving $219,477.69. The department’s share is $10,973.88. 

Parenti discussed the grant during a Sept. 13 Board of Selectmen meeting

“The radios increase our capability and allow each individual firefighter to have his own portable radio,” he said. “So, when they’re in the building, if there’s a mayday … they can get out.”

Parenti said the new radios would be multi-band. That will let the Northborough Fire Department communicate with other fire departments and law enforcement agencies like the Massachusetts State Police who operate on different bands, Parenti said.

“These new radios will function on all of those bands,” he continued. “All we have to do is flip the channel.”

Parenti told the Community Advocate that the department would be receiving 26 pulse batteries, chargers, carrying straps and holsters. 

“Our current portable radios is a combination of numerous technologies, most of which are not supported anymore,” Parenti said. “They are very limited in use and do not work with many of our mutual aid partners.”

During the selectmen’s meeting, Parenti said one portable radio costs approximately $8,000. 

The order for the new radios was placed earlier this month, Parenti said.

“Congratulations on that grant — $230,000, wow,” said selectman Scott Rogers.

 

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