The Goose Creek Fire Department has been awarded a $179,728 FEMA grant to upgrade their communication gear.
A release from the department says the Assistance to Firefighters Grant was awarded to the City in July by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They say after a 10 percent match by the City of Goose Creek, the total grant will be $197,700.
According to GCFD Chief Steve Chapman, they plan to upgrade the two-way radios used by firefighters to communicate with one another as well as other responding fire and police units.
The release say 45 800MHz (megahertz) radios will replace the GCFD's current radios. That includes 12 mobile radios in fire vehicles, and 33 portable, handheld devices.
Firefighters will be able to use them to communicate with neighboring departments that have already switched to 800MHz radios, including all Charleston County fire and police departments and Goose Creek Police. The release says the radios are also more reliable, and have hundreds more available channels.
"This is very important," Chapman said. "It will be a big improvement to our radio communications." The fire chief says the upgrade would not be possible without the grant.
FEMA says their Assistance to Firefighters Grant was started in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, in an effort to help "firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards."