Florida acquires radios for emergency operations
The governor and legislature of the State of Florida have authorized the purchase of $850,000 worth of portable radios, mobile radios, and 100-foot mobile radio towers with generators for the fire service. The recommendation for this new equipment had been made as a result of the Florida wildfires of 1998 and other statewide disasters.
The radios will be prepositioned in caches located in seven areas throughout the state. Six of the caches will be housed, maintained, and deployed by local fire service agencies designated by the Florida Fire Chiefs Association and one by the Division of State Fire Marshal.
The equipment will be deployed through the Statewide Fire-Rescue Disaster Response Plan. Under the plan, local agencies, state agencies, or other entities can request one or more of the caches through their County Emergency Operations Center to the State Emergency Operations Center, as outlined in the Statewide Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The request for deployment would then be forwarded to Emergency Support, whose lead agency is the State Fire Marshal, supported by the Florida Fire Chiefs Association.
The operational concept is that as mutual-aid response agencies arrive at an area that has been affected by a disaster, each unit can be issued a programmable radio so that all units and individuals will be in communication with each other and the local command authority.
Source: “Radio cache issue: A Reality,” Bureau Chief Randall Napoli, Alarm Alert, News from the State Fire Marshal, Summer 1999.