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PEVRS aims to upgrade radios

The Prince Edward Volunteer Rescue Squad (PEVRS) requested an advance from the county to help pay for 14 new handheld radios during the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors’ meeting Tuesday, Jan. 14.

John Miller

The advance for the new radios would come from the new EMS levy, passed last fall.

Longwood University Professor of English John Miller, who represents Longwood University on the PEVRS Executive Committee, said one of the things the squad has done to help ensure its return to a good financial position is aggressively pursue grants, including one to replace radios.

“Right now, the radios that the squad has, they don’t make parts for them anymore,” Miller said. “Likewise, we’re looking at within the next few years of having to have a new system in place required by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and in compliance with the dispatch and whatnot.”

Andrew Watters

In a Wednesday, Jan. 22, interview, PEVRS Captain Andrew Watters noted the rescue squad’s present radio system is analog, and a future update would switch it to digital. He said the 14 handheld radios the squad is aiming to purchase with the grant would be compatible with both analog and digital systems.

Miller asked the county to advance the rescue squad $25,900 to make the purchase of the radios by the grant deadline at the end of February. Watters said the total cost of the radios is $62,000.

He emphasized the rescue squad was not asking for anything additional in terms of funds but was simply requesting accommodation from the county on the timing of receipt of funds already set to come to the squad.

The request was referred to the Fire and EMS committee for a recommendation to the board at the February meeting.