|Updated: 4/26/2013 9:22 am
||Published: 4/25/2013 11:40 pm
A radio can be a life line for a firefighter who is in a dangerous situation.
“Communication is key,” said Lieutenant Ben Hatcher with the Turley Volunteer Fire Department. “We never know what we are going into whether it is a fire or an emergency.”
The Turley Fire Department has radios in every truck, but Hatcher says that the VHF model radio operating system isn’t up to par.
The model only allows Turley firefighters to talk amongst each and doesn’t allow them to be in contact with dispatchers or other fire agencies, like Tulsa or Owasso. Currently the station only has one radio, the 800 megahertz, which allows them to communicate with other agencies in the field.
“It’s frustrating because you kind of feel like you are behind the time,” said Hatcher.
The Turley Fire Department is now on the cusp of a technology upgrade.
The Turley Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters grant in the amount of $169,480.00. The firefighters will have to match the grant at 5 percent which will total $8,920. The grant is a two part grant. The first part is for the radio upgrade and the second part is for firefighter training.
In part, the grant will help the department to purchase 15 megahertz portable radios and 8 mobile radios.
“It’s going to be a peace of mind and a lifeline,” said Hatcher, “This is game changing for our department.”