WOODBINE — The borough has received funding from the United State Department of Agriculture Rural Development in the amount of $27,000 for the purchase of Dual-Band Radios for the Woodbine Volunteer Fire Department, Mayor William Pikolycky announced.
Previously, the borough received a grant for $5,000 from the South Jersey Gas First Responders grant program that was essential in addressing a significant leveraging of the USDA grant, bringing the total award to $32,000.
Presently, most fire departments, including Woodbine, are using VHF radios which do not conform to the nationally recognized safety standard of 700 MHz radios. In order to gradually convert from VHF to the 700MHz system, the only option available to ensure interoperability is to purchase dual band radios. These radios will allow firefighters to effectively communicate with dispatch, fellow firefighters/first responders and other departments on scene, thus leading to greater communication safety. The challenge met by this funding was the ability to afford the dual-band radios, which have an average cost of $6,500 per radio.
The borough, in conjunction with the fire department and the Woodbine Office of Emergency Management, is committed to continuing to provide fire protection and suppression services to the community, and to maintaining the equipment.
“This now puts us in a position to purchase this state-of-the-art equipment. I wish to thank USDA for their ongoing support. I again thank South Jersey Industries for their interest and support in giving back to communities such as Woodbine, especially coming at a time of increasing need,” Pikolycky said.