Mt. Vernon Register-News

October 10, 2012

County to receive additional funds

The funds are for the purchase of local emergency radios

Staff Report
CNHI

MT. VERNON — — Jefferson County will receive an additional $9,298 from the Illinois Terrorism Task Force for the purpose of purchasing local emergency radios.

Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency is one of 41 local agencies in Illinois to receive more than $416,000 in funds to help them comply with federal communications requirements, information states.

“These grants will help local first responder agencies comply with the FCC’s narrowbanding mandate and ensure vital emergency communications capabilities are protected after Dec. 31,” said Jonathan Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the state’s homeland security advisor.

The funds will be used to replace non-narrowband compliant VHF and UHF public safety base station/repeater radios and mobile radios with comparable narrowband equipment. The Federal Communications Commission has mandated all non-federal public safety licensees using 25kHz radio systems to migrate by Dec. 31.

The move is intended to relieve congestion and result in increased channel availability for public safety VHF/UHF systems, information states.

“If public safety agencies do not make the move to narrowband channels, they may face a loss of communications capabilities as FCC interference rules will not protect wideband systems from harmful interference,” information states.

The ITTF previously awarded more than $4.2 million in grants to help local response agencies meet the narrowbanding requirements. The grants require a 50 percent local match because of federal grant rules.