Portable radios are essential pieces of equipment utilized by firefighters to minimize dangers to firefighters and maximize rescue efforts.
Some of the portable radios currently utilized by SFD personnel are over ten years old. As Chief, my concern has always been the possibility of being unable to effectively transmit critical communications in challenging environments, which would jeopardize the safety of firefighters. Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) cylinders provide clean, fresh breathing air to firefighters when entering into “Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health” (IDLH) atmospheres. For larger incidents, departments are forced to refill their cylinders at the scene before firefighters can re-enter the burning structure. The purpose of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) is to assist departments with obtaining critically needed equipment to safely complete their mission. Recently, Scott Fire Department applied for a grant to replace our older portable radios and obtain spare cylinders. On Friday, Scott Fire Department was informed that we received $90,000 from FEMA to replace 20 portable radios and obtain 45 additional cylinders. This funding will enhance our daily operations and ability to protect lives and property by allowing clear, precise, dependable communications, in addition to allowing firefighters to re-enter a burning structure immediately, rather than waiting to have their cylinders refilled at the scene. Please feel free to contact me if I can assist with this or any other matter.
Chief Chad P. Sonnier