EMA receives funding for equipment

By Megan R. Harrell
Star Staff

The Elizabethton/Carter County Emergency Management Agency has received $20,000 from the State Department of Justice. The $20,000 grant will go toward upgrading local first responder's communication equipment.
   The funding came from the Weapons of Mass Destruction Grant and was channeled through TEMA before it was granted to the local EMA.
   According to EMA Director, Jim Burrough, $5,775 of the grant money will go toward the improvement of communication systems within the county. The improvements will link the EMA with both city and county first responders.
   Burrough said he will spend $3,000 on four hand-held radios and extra batteries. The EMA and the Elizabethton Police Department will each receive two radios.
   The Elizabethton Fire Department will receive four hand held radios with head sets. There will be a new radio at each of the EPFD stations. Burrough stated that the radios and headsets will cost about $1,476.
   A new cascade pressure system used to refill air packs will be purchased for all of the Carter County Volunteer Fire Departments. It will be located at the Watauga Fire Department and will provide an alternative location for fire fighters to refill air packs. "This way they do not have to go all the way to the Elizabethton Fire Department to refill," Burrough said. Burrough will use $2,795 of the grant money to purchase the cascade systems.
   Two repeaters will be purchased for county wide emergencies, and one will be provided for the EMA base station with the money. Burrough estimates the cost of the three repeaters to be right at $7,000.
   The local EMA will begin spending the latest grant money immediately. "That is $20,000 that we have permission to go ahead and start spending on in the near future. We probably will start as soon as this week," Burrough said.