Monday, February 8, 2010

Important message concerning fire grants!

Many of the AFG applications filed in 2009 were for communications equipment, in particular interoperable communications based on P25 technology. Some applicants are finding that the cost of P25 equipment is significantly more expensive than expected (at least as quoted by some suppliers). Some equipment vendors are suggested that those who have received grants for P25 interoperable equipment can substitute other "digital" equipment for P25 which will result in significant cost savings and "better" operating capability.

In the briefest statement possible, let us simply say that if your 2009 AFG grant application specified P25 interoperable equipment, that is exactly what you are expected to purchase! To proceed on the advice of those who encourage you to do otherwise could result in some really unpleasant results. Just remember - it is not your communications supplier that FEMA looks to for grant compliance. It is the one receiving the grant! The granting of federal funding for communications is predicated on compliance with SAFECOM guidance. There are not other standards - just SAFECOM! For the current guidance, please visit

Having said that, you should know that it is entirely possible that you CAN get P25 equipment and still stay within your budget. Additional information on this subject is available at We we would be remiss if we did not mention that there are some excellent alternatives to P25 digital for those who will not be using federal funds for communications equipment purchases. One of the better ones is the IDAS technology by ICOM. Additional information is available at