Huron River receives grant for radio system repeater

Cary Ashby • Aug 8, 2018 at 9:00 PM

MONROEVILLE — Thanks to a grant from Firelands Electric Cooperative People Fund board members, the Huron River Joint Fire District has enhanced its radio system.

The people fund awarded a $3,675 grant to the fire department, which purchased a radio system repeater. That will improve the district-wide fire and emergency radio communications. Huron River covers about 75 miles in Monroeville and the Peru, Ridgefield and Sherman townships.

“The new system is state-of-the-art technology that will offer a dramatic improvement in communications and firefighter safety. The (district) sincerely appreciates the members of the people fund board in recognizing how this grant will be beneficial to all residents of the fire district and those residing in (the) Firelands Electric territory. A special thank-you goes out to the people fund board,” communications officer Craig Franklin said in a prepared statement.

Chief Curt Stang was asked about the importance of his agency having a radio system repeater.

“This is an enhancement to the system we already have,” he said, referring to two-way radio communications. 

Depending on where firefighters are, they could have problems getting a signal and communicating “from the base system” to other people, so Stang said the radio system repeater will help boost that signal.

In the Firelands Electric people fund program, customers have the option to round up the total of their bill to the next dollar amount.

“That (extra) money goes to the people fund,” said Shelley Magyar, people fund coordinator.

The fund has awarded grants every other month since 1994.

“Last year we hit $1 million that we’ve given away,” said Tracy Gibb, Firelands Electric Cooperative communications and member relation specialist. 

Firelands Electric Cooperative, a Touchstone Energy Partner, is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility serving more than 9,100 homes and businesses in rural areas of Ashland, Huron, Lorain and Richland counties. It ranks among the highest energy utilities in the country for customer satisfaction. Gibb said the 9,100 meters equates to about 9,000 Firelands Electric members.

“Firelands is a big part of our (coverage) area to the south,” Stang said. 

Now that Huron River has the radio system repeater, “it will help us be more efficient with our communication” and contact other agencies more efficiently, the chief added.

“The community will benefit from their generosity,” Stang said.

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