- Associated Press - Saturday, February 13, 2016

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Communication just got a little clearer for the Greenville Fire Department.

The Delta Democrat-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1obGP73) the department has purchased 100 new handheld radios, new mobile units for all of the firetrucks and command staff vehicles and base station radios for all of the stations and the fire dispatch center thanks to a $245,000 Assistance to Firefighters grant.

Fire chief Ruben Brown said there was a definite need for new radios. Firefighters had been using radios that were surplus after the 1996 Olympics.

“They really weren’t firefighting radios,” he said. “They were patrol, security type radios.”

Brown added that the previous equipment was “not durable and not really fire department capable.”

Brown said the new radios are Mississippi Wireless Information Network capable, the state communication system the entire county plans to upgrade to within the next two years.

“These new radios, they are firefighter radios. They have bigger knobs, so that when a firefighter has on a bulky glove, it’s easier for him to change the volume or change to a necessary channel. . The battery life on the battery is longer. . It’s a more rugged, weatherproof radio really designed for a firefighter’s use,” he said.

Brown said he was thankful to city officials for seeing the need to improve public safety in the area of communications.

Mayor Errick Simmons said that’s the city’s paramount concern.

“Our number one goal is to make sure our residents are safe, particularly in the situation of a fire,” he said. “I thank the chief for making sure our public safety communication system is up to date and applaud the council members and the chief of the fire department for getting the grant awarded in regard to new radios.”

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Information from: Delta Democrat-Times, http://www.ddtonline.com

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