Donated radios replaced outdated gear at several area fire departments

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 5:33 PM CDT
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MORGAN’S POINT RESORT, Texas (KWTX) - Several area fire departments are replacing outdated communications gear with radios donated by a larger city that insisted on anonymity.

The Morgan’s Point Resort Fire Department received nearly 50 of the donated radios and others went to other area departments including Central Bell and Beverly Hills.

Morgan’s Point firefighters had been using old and outdated radios that were mismatched and presented communication challenges that were a particular problem during the historic freeze in February, Fire Chief Taran Vaszocz said Wednesday.

“Some of our other partners in public safety like our utilities and maintenance folks...folks from city hall, we weren’t able to reach them as quickly as we would have liked to, " Vaszocz said.

The donated radios were distributed not only to the community’s firefighters, but also to city utility works, maintenance workers and city hall staff.

The new devices are only one step behind the most current generation of Motorola radios, which Vaszcoz says is an improvement.

“Some of the radios that were in the mix weren’t even fire rated,” he said.

“So, these [new] radios are actually fire rated to withstand a certain heat. They can withstand dropping them in water and they’ll survive, and we had ones out there that weren’t and that produced a safety hazard for some of our folks out there in operations,” Vaszcoz said.

The city was able to equip every firefighter, medic and vehicle with a radio on the current Bell County Communications radio system.

With the new radios, Morgan’s Point Resort Fire Dept. can better connect with the Bell County 911 system which recently transitioned to a digital system.

Each of the donated radios originally cost about $6,000.

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