When you dial 911 in Huntingdon County, know that those on the other end of the line will soon be using updated equipment to get you help.
“Present day they were using two or three different radios at one time,” said Senator Jake Corman. “Firefighters, emergency vehicles, police had to use two to three different radios to communicate with each other. Now they’ll be able to use one.”
This upgrade comes from a $1 million grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Program with the state.
Beyond simplifying the lines of communication, the grant will provide a much needed upgrade to the current 40-year-old analog radio system, which can’t reach the very rural areas.
“The whole 911 system, where there’s an upgrade in the system is going to enable us to talk in areas that we didn’t talk in before,” said Vince Lombardi, EMA Volunteer, Huntingdon County.
We’re told the upgrades will make sure no area will be off the radio grid.
The $1 million grant is able to be used as soon as the County Commissioners submit for reimbursement of the upgraded tech.
But it’s also important to know that other local systems, like those used by firefighters, and emergency management will also need funds to upgrade their communication systems, which will require more funding.
Which according to Lombardi, is something badly needed given prices of new radios.
“Funding has not really become readily available… fire company’s are scurrying, they’re getting money through donations, through fundraisers, because the cost of radios is much higher.”
A large majority of funding for the 911 services upgrade will be provided by the grant.
They hope to put the new tech to use in the near future.