Harford Co. to upgrade emergency communications

February 18, 2010|By Mary Gail Hare | Baltimore Sun reporter

Harford County has won a $750,000 federal grant to improve emergency communications.

Officials said the funding, announced Thursday at the county's Emergency Operations Center, would pay for upgrades to communications used by first responders, including several hundred volunteer firefighters.

They said the technology would help police, fire and emergency medical services workers to share videos, images and data securely.

"This technology will allow our volunteer fire departments to communicate better with our own county agencies, like public works," said Rich Gardner, spokesman for the volunteer fire departments. "It will also allow us to stay in touch with regional agencies during a major incident. That way, we can access resources in a much faster way and deliver services quickly to wherever they are needed. It sure would have been a help during the blizzard."

Officials said the radio and telephone system used now by responders is outdated.

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