Upgraded Communications Coming to Willow Grove Fire Co.
The volunteer fire company will use $15K grant to purchase Mobile Data Computers.
The Willow Grove Fire Co. is about to see a whole lot of upgrades to its technological equipment and lines of communication.
Through the Office of the State Fire Commissioner, the volunteer firefighters in Willow Grove have been approved for a $15,000 grant that will be used primarily on new computers and other technology devices. The application process started in September, but the funds were officially approved earlier this month.
“With the county going to the Mobile Data Computers, we were able to secure funding for additional computers for the fire company,” Deputy Chief Lee Perlmutter said.
Mobile Data Computers, or MDC’s, are the same devices installed in police cars and ambulances, and open a better line of communication for the volunteers. Now different emergency response units can communicate with each other while they’re out on the road.
“Beyond the radio there's a way to communicate,” Perlmutter said.
Aside from MDC’s, the company plans to upgrade in other areas to help make the community safer. The amount of $15,000 is the maximum a fire company can receive in grants.
“ The upgraded computers will be used in the firehouse and for outreach training,” Perlmutter said. “If we do a presentation at a service club, or a church, we will have a better portable projector and a laptop. It just gives us a better way to promote safety … We try to get the fire safety message out there. We are using that to have better equipment.”
In economic times like this, additional funding from anywhere always will go a long way.
“The budget we get from the township, we're just like any other business,” Perlmutter said. “We have to pay our electric, taxes, we have to pay aqua water. We appreciate everything they do for us. But if you can get these grants, it helps a lot.”
The MDC’s that are installed in fire trucks will have the ability to look up chemicals on the spot, rather than waiting for lab tests to be complete.
“It allows us to put out the best product we can to the citizens,” Perlmutter said. “If by getting this money it allows us to operate in a safer matter, then it's a win.”