Emergency radios changing frequency

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Marshall County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett has signed an agreement with the state so the county's Emergency Management Agency can receive a grant to help pay for training and a change of its radio transmissions from broadband to narrowband.

County commissioners authorized Liggett's signature during their Nov. 22 meeting and Tuesday, County EMA Director Bob Hopkins said the money hasn't been delivered yet. He also explained why the funding is required. It's part of a national change for emergency responders' radio communications.

"By late 2012 all the frequencies have to be changed from broadband to narrowband," Hopkins said. "Across the nation, it opens up more frequencies for more agencies. It's a better use of the megahertz frequency."

The grant is for $57,687 and is from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office for Domestic Preparedness State Homeland Security Grant Program, according to the resolution adopted unanimously by county commissioners.

"Most of it will be used to enhance our communications and operability, including training," Hopkins said.

County emergency management agencies conduct training exercises and seminars for emergency responders and volunteers.

Also during the Nov. 22 meeting, county commissioners authorized Liggett to sign contracts with:

* Birmingham Hide and Tallow Co. Inc. for the county jail to dispose of used cooking oil which must be disposed of in an environmentally appropriate manner; and,

* Griffin Industries, the company that recently ended its removal of dead animals from farms and public highways because of environmental requirements. The new contract is for the county jail to dispose of trap grease at the jail's kitchen. The quarterly charge for the service is $210.