Hilliard Northwest News

Township uses $221K grant to buy 38 radios, equipment


The Norwich Township Fire Department has 38 new handheld radios, three base stations and a new mobile repeater, all purchased with a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The federal grant totaled $221,108.

The upgrade in technology will improve the ability of firefighters to communicate with each other, as well as with dispatchers at Norwich Township and other area departments and agencies.

"Some of the radios we were using were from the mid-1990s," said Norwich Township firefighter George Sorge. "These new radios are much more rugged and water-resistant, too."

The new radios also carry more frequencies, so a single radio can be used to communicate with agencies in counties contiguous to Franklin during mutual-aid calls.

"Before, we had to have a second radio if we going to scenes too far away from Norwich Township," Sorge said.

Each on-duty firefighter and medic will use one of the new handheld radios.

One of the new base stations will be located in each of Norwich Township's three fire stations.

The department's new repeater will be carried in a battalion chief's car. The repeater will boost the radio signal at an emergency scene and strengthen it before it is received at Norwich Township.

"These are needed when we are at a scene in Brown Township or other more remote and rural areas where he provide service," Sorge said.

Capt. Vince Papa, EMS coordinator for Norwich Township, said the grant is the latest in a series that have enabled the department to stretch taxpayer revenue.