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IFD to receive grant

Money will allow department to upgrade radio system

With the help of federal grant money, Ironton firefighters will get a new radio system.

The Ironton Fire Department has been awarded a grant of $57, 747 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grants program.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) made the announcement in a press release Wednesday afternoon.

“Our first responders put their lives on the line every day across Ohio,” Brown said in the statement. “These funds ensure that firefighters in Ironton have the personnel and resources they need to perform their jobs safely.”

The grant will require a 3 percent match, which the fire department will pay with donations it receives from the community, Fire Chief Tom Runyon, said.

That will be used to upgrade the department’s communication system. The new system will allow the department to communicate with other first responders, which is important in disaster situations when several departments respond.

“Not only the fact that this will give us a state of the art system, also with the Federal Communication Commission there is a requirement that we have to narrow band our communications systems by 2013 and if we don’t have that accomplished by 2013 we’re breaking requirements,” Runyon said. “A lot of the parts of old system can be narrow banded but some parts cannot be narrow banded.”

A narrowband refers to use of a minimal amount of bandwidth.

The system upgrade will include six mobile radios, three base stations, 17 off-duty pagers and more than 20 hand held units.

The department will accept bids for the system.

“We are very glad to see this happen,” Runyon said. “It’s something that will help make us more efficient in communication and make it easier for us to communicate with other entities and other responders.”