October 9, 2012
Grants Will Help 41 Response Agencies Comply with Federal Narrowband Requirements
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) announced today that 41 local emergency management agencies will receive a total of $416,852 to help them comply with federal communications requirements. The grants were recently awarded by the ITTF using federal homeland security funds the state receives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The funds will be used to replace non-narrowband compliant VHF and UHF public safety base station/repeater radios and mobile radios with comparable narrowband equipment. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated all non-federal public safety licensees using 25 kHz radio systems migrate to narrowband 12.5 kHz channels by Dec.31, 2012.
The move is intended to relieve congestion and result in increased channel availability for public safety VHF/UHF systems. If public safety agencies do not make the move to narrowband channels they may face a loss of communications capabilities as FCC interference rules will not protect wideband systems from harmful interference.
The ITTF previously awarded more than $4.2 million in grants to help local response agencies meet the narrowbanding requirements.
“These grants will help local first responder agencies comply with the FCC’s narrowbanding mandate and ensure vital emergency communications capabilities are protected after Dec. 31,” said Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the state’s Homeland Security Advisor.
Narrowbanding Assistance Grants awarded to accredited emergency management agencies were funded through the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) program. The grants require a 50 percent local match because of federal grant rules.
Local emergency management agencies receiving the grants include: