Hugh Merkle Team - COMPASS RE

AVFD Receives Grant For Dual-Band Radios

Posted November 19th 2021

The Avalon Volunteer Fire Department has been awarded $571,428 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the purchase of 120 dual-band radios, Chief Ed Dean announced Sept. 8.

“This is a major win not only for Avalon, but for the 11 other departments and communities that partnered with us in this application,” Dean said. “By making the switch from our current VHF radios to dual-bands, all of our departments will be able to better coordinate efforts before arrival on scene and maintain safety while performing our firefighting duties.”

The money comes from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant program – a competitive national funding opportunity that provides grants to fire departments for “critically needed resources to equip and train emergency personnel to recognized standards.”

Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi, who also is the director of the Cape May County Office of Emergency Management, spearheaded the AVFD’s effort. He said while some fire departments in the county are already using dual-band radios, many are not. This, he noted, can make coordination difficult when departments responding to the same call are using different equipment to communicate with one another.

“This is a public-safety issue,” Pagliughi said. “Having interoperable radios in the hands of more departments will ensure that commanders can focus their efforts on controlling the incident. This will allow for more effective and efficient deployment of firefighters and resources, which will lead to better protecting of people and property.”

According to Dean, departments that participated in this application with the AVFD and will share the awarded funds include Cape May, West Cape May, Erma, Middle Township, Ocean View, Rio Grande, Villas, Sea Isle City, Belleplain, North Wildwood, and Marmora.

The grant awarded to AVFD will be supplemented by a required 5% local match of $28,571, to be shared equally among the 12 participating departments, under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by all parties.

The radios are expected to be purchased, programmed, and in use by early 2022.

The Hugh Merkle Team - COMPASS Office: 609-368-9100
374 96th Street, Stone Harbor
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