FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — The Freeport Fire Department has been notified by the US Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency that they have received the 2018 Assistance for Firefighters Grant for Firefighting Operations and Safety. The approved budget for the grant is $382,000. The federal portion is $347,272.72. The local match is $34,727.28. The fire department will be utilizing these funds to upgrade the fire department emergency radio communication system and to purchase a new washer extractor for cleaning firefighting turnout gear.
This grant will help modernize the communication platform the fire department uses when responding to emergencies. The current radio system is over 20 years old and this will provide the essential resources necessary to completely upgrade the fire department radios. Chief Liggett will be working with his leadership team to complete the specification process for the new radios, select a vendor, purchase the equipment, provide staff training, test radio service coverage, and drill on fire operations with the new devices.
“The new radios will provide the necessary emergency communication tool for our first responders to be able to effectively communicate in the hazardous environment that a firefighter operates in.Features that are specifically designed for firefighting operations will be available to us now that will dramatically increase safety and operational efficiency”, Chief Liggett said. This is the third application the City has made for this equipment through the Assistance for Firefighters Grant Program.
Chief Liggett praised his predecessors Chief Miller and Chief Allen for pursuing the funding. Their efforts will help the citizens of Freeport for many years to come. The department has until October 9, 2020 to complete the performance objectives outlined in their grant proposal.