Friday, December 26, 2014

Grant a win for fire, EMS paging

A project to upgrade the regional public safety paging system used by Chester County's volunteer fire departments and emergency medical services personnel will receive a $554,157 federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant, Rep. Jim Gerlach announced today.

Grant a win for fire, EMS paging

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 A project to upgrade the regional public safety paging system used by Chester County’s volunteer fire departments and emergency medical services personnel will receive a $554,157 federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant, Rep. Jim Gerlach announced today.

 The grant administered by the Department of Homeland Security was awarded to East Brandywine Fire Company, which worked cooperatively with Chester County Fire Services on the grant proposal. Chester County has agreed to pay $138,539 toward replacement of the regional public safety paging system to comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s narrowband mandate. The project will help ensure reliable coverage and capacity among regional, local, state and federal first responders, a news release from Gerlach said.

“Every volunteer in Chester County, as well as the taxpayers, will benefit in some way from this grant, “said East Brandywine Fire Company Chief Joseph Edwards in the release. “East Brandywine Fire Company was very pleased to be asked to sponsor this grant and looks forward to the new paging system being implemented.”

 Raymond Stackhouse, president of the Chester County Fire Chiefs Association added: “On behalf of the Chester County Fire Chiefs Association, I would like to thank East Brandywine Fire Company for sponsoring this grant application; and the Chester County Commissioners and the Department of Emergency Services staff, for all of their assistance and support throughout this process ... These funds will be a tremendous help in offsetting the costs of a much-needed improvement to the current communications process for all emergency responders in the county.”

Chester County’s fire and emergency medical services are provided by 38 fire departments and 2 non-affiliated EMS organizations serving 73 municipalities.  The 2,056 firefighters and EMS personnel, most of whom are volunteers, protect the county’s 498,894 citizens, the release said.

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About this blog
Aubrey Whelan covers Chester County for the Inquirer. A native of a Philadelphia suburb so small it doesn't have a zip code, she grew up reading the Inquirer and was thrilled to take a job there in fall 2012. Previously, she covered crime, courts and D.C.'s Occupy movement for the Washington Examiner. Aubrey graduated from Penn State in 2011, where she worked for the award-winning campus newspaper and majored in journalism and French. Contact her at 215-495-5855 or awhelan@philly.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/aubreyjwhelan.

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