The Fire Department will receive nearly $36,000 to replace outdated radios needed to communicate during emergencies.
The 22 new radios will offer more reliable access to mutual aid channels so Wauwatosa can correspond with other emergency response agencies during large-scale disasters, such as floods, snow storms or an attack on private communications networks.
"Radios communications in the Milwaukee area can be very confusing to say the least," Deputy Fire Chief Bill Rice said.
The department's old VHF radios will become obsolete within a year due to re-banding, so new radios are necessary, Rice said. The grant money will buy mobile radios to mount on rigs. The city will need to find funding in its budget to buy portable radios for each firefighter to carry at emergency scenes.
With some additional programming, the radios will be compatible with the Wisconsin Interoperability System for Communications, which is anticipated to provide 95 percent mobile radio coverage across the state. It's expected to launch in July, but it could be a slow process, Rice said.
Still, this marks major growth in coordinated emergency communications, state officials contend, because only 5 percent of the state's public safety agencies had access to mutual aid channels in 2003.
The radio equipment grants are funded through federal Homeland Security dollars and divvied out by the state's Office of Justice Assistance.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- New Mayfair parking structure to open tonight
- The Malt Shoppe opens Friday in Wauwatosa
- Taste of the Town: Eddie Martini's remains a classic stop
- Wauwatosa businesses recognized for employing people with disabilities
- Neighbors continue combating Wauwatosa Woman's Club parking proposal (1)
- Wauwatosa's Center Street, lined with schools, could see sidewalks, bike lanes
- Wauwatosa negotiating financial aid for Underwood apartments
- Weekly Planner: Oct. 23
- Tosa East Players perform play-within-a-play in 'Curtains'
- What to expect as Wauwautosa YMCA changes hands