Nags Head Fire and Rescue awarded generous grant for communications upgrade

[Nags Head Fire and Rescue courtesy photo]

The Town of Nags Head’s Fire and Rescue Department has received notification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, that their Fiscal Year 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) submitted in October of 2018 has been approved for award.

The primary goal of the AFG is to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters with respect to fire-related hazards by providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated Emergency Medical Services organizations and State Fire Training Academies.

Each grant application undergoes multiple reviews and scoring by teams of volunteers from the fire service from organizations all over the country. Because of the extensive review process and receiving over 8,400 grants for the 2018 application cycle, it has taken 10 months for the first round of grants to be awarded.

Nags Head Fire Chief Randy Wells said the news of the grant award was a pleasant surprise. “This grant will be used to upgrade our communication system, specifically our hand-held radios. Communication is a key element to firefighter safety; these new radios will help Nags Head Fire and Rescue manage the risks associated with operating at emergency incidents.”

The program awarded a total of $178,975, with a Town match of $8,948. Currently the department has 38 radios including vehicle mounted and portable units. The new radios are built specifically for emergency services and include technology that will interoperability between multiple local and state agencies if needed.

“This grant will enable us to upgrade our department radios to the current model allowing for better communications and the ability to keep up with the latest technology available,” Nags Head Deputy Fire Chief Shane Hite. “The purchase will outfit each vehicle and each seating position with a new radio.”

Nags Head Fire and Rescue received news of the award on September 11, the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and also the event that prompted Congress to require interoperable communications between responders.

“Grants are an integral part of our operations,” said Nags Head Town Manager Cliff Ogburn. “We are grateful that the folks at FEMA provide funding for critically needed resources such as updated radios, which will enhance the safety of not only our firefighters, but our community, as well.”

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.