ARPA funds finance radio upgrades for fire departments in Glocester

Harmony Fire Station NRI NOW photo by Dick Martin

GLOCESTER – Thanks to a grant from American Rescue Plan Act funds, new radio technology for Glocester’s fire departments will be eliminating many of the communication “dead zones” in town. Communications technology, as well as new servers will be upgraded, providing more reliable and extensive communications.

“The only dead spots will be out in the middle of nowhere in West Glocester…in the woods,” West Glocester Fire Chief Christopher LaButti told the Town Council at their recent meeting.

LaButti explained that Goosetown Communications monitored their present communications equipment over a period of time, recording any times the system crashed or was not working properly in order to pinpoint any existing problems and find ways in which to resolve them.

“They put a lot of work into this presentation,” said Chepachet Fire Chief Dennis Huestis. “We’re kind of fools if we don’t put it into effect.”

“This is the best way to serve the town and public safety,” added LaButti. “Fundamentally, the system is okay. It’s just tweaks that are going to be needed to the system that are going to make it better.”

LaButti later added that presently there are a lot of dead spaces in West Glocester and lower side of Harmony.

“We’ve always had difficulty in those areas,” he said.

Council Vice President Stephen Arnold said the outcome turned out way better than they thought it would.

Huestis explained that going forward, Goosetown will maintain and repair the equipment as needed for the next five years for an annual fee borne by the fire departments. The total cost of $239,134 was mostly covered by a grant from ARPA, which provided $190,983. The remaining amount was split between the three fire departments, at approximately $16,050 each. Anything, including lightning strikes on any of the four towers in town, will be the responsibility of Goosetown, who will monitor the system 24/7.

“At last it will be up and running the way it should be,” said Huestis.

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