November 4, 2013
 
Will Assist with Maintenance of Emergency Communications Equipment
 
SPRINGFIELD – Nine emergency response agencies in Illinois will receive $10,000 grants from the state’s September 11th Fund to help them maintain critical emergency communications equipment previously purchased through federal homeland security preparedness funds.  The grants were awarded recently by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).
 
“On 9/11, firefighters, police officers and other responders were unable to adequately communicate with each other during their heroic response to the World Trade Center,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken.  “To enhance communications between multiple response agencies that may operate on different frequencies, we deployed specially-equipped communications suites that enable them to talk to each other.  These funds will help defray the local costs to maintain those units so they can support first responders’ communications needs in the years to come.”
 
Since 2003, Illinois has spent more than $3.6 million in federal homeland security preparedness funding to develop nine mobile communication suites that have been strategically deployed across the state.  The communications units, Illinois Transportable Emergency Communications Systems (ITECS), provide a robust communications capability to ensure first responders at the site of a major disaster can communicate with each other.  The ITECS suites are sophisticated mobile communications packages with multiple systems and are available to deploy anywhere in Illinois to enhance or replace local emergency response communications following any disaster or incident.
 
Agencies receiving grants include:
 
  • Champaign Fire Department
  • Chicago Police Department/Office of Emergency Management and Communications
  • City of Marion
  • Crawford County Emergency Management Agency
  • DuPage County Office of Emergency Management
  • Springfield Police Department/Department of Homeland Security
  • St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency
  • Will County Emergency Management Agency
  • Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office
“Strategic and tactical equipment and communications are an integral component to the success and quality of local, regional and statewide response to a major event,” Monken said.  “A disaster can strike anywhere in the state, whether it’s a hazardous material event, a weapons of mass destruction attack or a natural disaster like a tornado or flood.  It’s critical that state and local emergency responders have the equipment needed to effectively respond to any type of disaster.”
 
The September 11th Fund is supported by a portion of the fee for each America Remembers license plate purchased or renewed in Illinois.  The fund is dedicated to providing grants to local governments for training, equipment and other costs associated with the prevention of terrorism and to aid victims of terrorism.