Grant Will Support Emergency Communications Upgrade

Grant Will Support Emergency Communications Upgrade

A $747,177 will allow Union Parish Emergency Response to upgrade their communications.
UNION PARISH, LA -- "911 what's your emergency," said a worker at the Union Parish 911 center.

This is where emergency calls are answered in union parish.

"Our old system has been there for a long time," commented Danny Smith, Union Parish's Homeland Security Director.

After years of dealing with inefficient and outdated equipment, they're planning for an upgrade, thanks to a grant.

"Instead of being scattered, with one piece and one radio here and another radio over there, it'll all be included in one console," Smith explained.

Last October, Smith applied for a grant from the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Program. This week, Union Parish first responders received $747,177 in grant money.

Part of the grant money would pay for two new communication consoles.

"[It would pay for] 700-400 band combination workstations; that would include all the agencies and all the different departments that we dispatch for," said Smith.

Seven Union Parish volunteer fire stations were also included in the grant. Over 300 mobile radios will be purchased for them.

"It's not just a 911 thing," Smith stated. "It's also all the response agencies in the parish that's going to benefit from this. It's really been a big benefit to us and we really appreciate it."

Smith expects the equipment upgrades to be completed within one year.
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