The East Greenwich Fire Department is the recipient of a $280,000 federal grant to replace outdated radio equipment, according to a recent announcement by all four Rhode Island congressional officials – Sens. Reed and Whitehouse and Reps. Cicillini and Magaziner.
“We will be switching to the state’s 800 MHz system to allow better inter-department communications with our mutual aid partners,” said Fire Chief Bernie Patenaude.
“This most recent grant award will have a substantive impact on the quality and efficiency of the communication equipment and ability of the department,” said Town Manager Andy Nota. “This would normally be an investment that would appear in the town’s capital program, although this federal grant will address this needed expenditure replacing local funds.”
Nota added, “A challenge we routinely face is the difficult topography and cell coverage in town that greatly limits the signal strength in various locations in both the eastern and western parts of town. The repeaters will assist by bolstering the signal in select parts of town.”
“This grant will dramatically improve radio communications during emergency incidents,” said Capt. Bill Perry, president of EGFF Local 3328.
The $280,000 grant is the latest to have been received by the EGFD. Patenaude became chief 2019. Since then, the department has gotten more than $1.1 million in grants.
“This is another example of the excellent work of the town’s professional staff in securing outside sources of funding to address deferred investment and provide relief from local tax funding,” Nota said.