The Bangor Hearth Division updates the radio system after 20 years

The new radios are heat and waterproof, have an emergency button and much more. This is thanks to a grant of $ 110,000 from the Assistance to Firefighters Grants program.

BANGOR, Maine – The Bangor Fire Department is upgrading its radios thanks to a $ 110,000 grant from the Firefighters Assistance Program.

“The government covers most of it, the city has to cover 10% of it, and we were able to pay for that from our operating budget,” said Chandler Corriveau, assistant chief of fire for the Bangor Fire Department.

Radio is the main form of communication between fire fighters, rescue workers and police officers in emergency situations.

The old radios were around 15 to 20 years old, not waterproof, and had limited channel capacity. In addition, they were no longer made by the manufacturer, making it difficult to find replacement parts to fix damaged parts.

“We definitely used it. The technology has improved so much,” added Corriveau.

Earlier this week, the department received 80 new portable radios and 64 new mobile radios, as well as chargers, batteries and accessories. The new technology is currently being installed and programmed.

“One of the main differences between the old and the new radio is that we have this emergency button. We push the button and it identifies us. Previously, that identification was limited,” said Jared Willey, president of IFF 772, the 88-member union the Bangor Fire Department.

“But I would say that probably the biggest feature is their durability, how they’re constructed. They’re designed for a firefighter who can be operated with a gloved hand. So they have bigger buttons, bigger buttons and the speaker microphone is bigger.” said Corriveau.

@BangorFireDept received a $ 110,000 grant from the Firefighters Aid Program to purchase new, much-needed radios. The new technology is currently being installed and will replace the older devices that were 20 years old. #NEWSCENTERmaine

– Hannah Yechivi (@hannahyechiviTV) May 2, 2021

According to Corriveau, replacing the old radios with the new will make a big difference in emergency situations, as the new radios are more user-friendly and also water and heat resistant.

“Our new radios are more of a public safety two-way radio. They are designed for the harsh environments that firefighters work in,” Corriveau said. “Without the ability to communicate on radios, members would not be able to communicate at all.”

In responding to any type of scene, radios are the communication bridge between the department and the firefighter or emergency medical service personnel helping with a scene.

According to Willey, radio communication is vital. “It’s our lifeline to the outside, so to speak.”

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