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St. Clair Shores City Council approves radio purchase

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 30, 2018

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Firefighters in three neighboring departments are getting new radios thanks to a federal grant, and now St. Clair Shores has approved the purchase of the radios and associated equipment.

The St. Clair Shores Fire Department’s radio system was last upgraded in 2005 with help from a partial Assistance to Firefighters Grant. In 2017, the St. Clair Shores, Eastpointe and Roseville fire departments were awarded a $346,364 grant to replace radio equipment in the three departments, which requires a match of $34,944 from the three communities.

After being notified of the award, members of the three departments met over the past six months to determine the best radio equipment to purchase with the money. 

St. Clair Shores Battalion Chief Chris Krotche told City Council members Jan. 22 that the department tried out two brands of portable radios for 30 days: one from Motorola and one from Kenwood. Battery life, durability and the superior audio quality of the Motorola radios contributed to the department’s recommendation for their purchase.

With the money from the grant, the department is also purchasing headsets to aid in hearing the radios on loud scenes, as well as vehicle communication headsets for all of the fire trucks. 

More items were necessary to completely outfit the department, however, including spare batteries, speaker microphones, chargers, the cost to program each individual radio by the state, and upgrades to the mobile radios for the department’s ambulances. The Fire Department asked for and received approval to increase the $31,000 budgeted for Fire Department radios and accessories to $67,374.60. 

“You really did a wonderful job putting this all together,” said City Councilman Peter Accica. “There’s nothing more important than safety. You have to be able to hear. A lot of research went into this.”

City Council unanimously approved the grant, the matching funds and the increased amount to be budgeted for the remaining items not covered by the grant.