Uprade Benefits Entire Region
MONTROSE — The Montrose Fire Protection District, MFPD, along with Montrose County recently received funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, Assistance to Firefighters Grant to replace existing dispatch radio equipment which is described as "no longer operationally reliable," to improve the district's communications.
Approximately $382,051 was awarded on April 19, and will be used to replace dispatch radio equipment at the Montrose Regional Dispatch Center. The dispatch center is a function of the Montrose County Sheriff's Office and provides dispatching services for 31 local emergency response agencies which collectively serve approximately 55,000 citizens in Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties.
“The money will specifically be used to purchase seven Motorola MCC7500 dispatch consoles,” MFPD Chief Tad Rowan said. "This grant, and subsequent equipment upgrades, provides Montrose Fire and other users improved radio quality and reliability of communications between dispatch and personnel. This upgrade benefits the entire region and is the main reason why we agreed to apply for the funds and partner with Montrose County.”
In a press release Montrose County stated manufacturers of current equipment no longer provide replacement parts and has begun the process of phasing the radio make and model out of service.
"With over 37 years of experience in law enforcement, I know how critical a role dispatchers play in public safety," said Montrose County Commissioner Gary Ellis. "Through a great partnership with MFPD, we were able to secure much needed funding to better equip our dispatch professionals."
The upgraded equipment will increase the center's functionality, operational stability and enhance the interface between dispatchers and emergency response personnel, including law enforcement, EMS and fire. In alignment with priority three in the Montrose County Strategic Business Plan, the radio upgrade increases MRDC's capacity to provide public safety by staffing additional dispatchers as needed to cover high call volumes and large-scale emergencies.
Replacing the dispatch radio equipment is the final step in a multi-year, multi-agency project. Multiple agencies have contributed to the upgrade including $86,130.25 from San Miguel Emergency Telephone Authority for desk consoles. Montrose County is in the process of establishing a fund that is dedicated to emergency communication equipment replacements for future upgrades, which will reduce the county's need to use state or federal funds in future years.