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Missouri First Responders to get Interoperable Communications Grants

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt is handing out a second round of grants to help 74 of the state’s local public safety departments purchase equipment to help them achieve interoperable communications.

According to an article on Government Technology’s Emergency Management website, through smart purchasing practices, the state saved $800,000 from the first round of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Grant Program (ICGP) awards, which is allowing officials to hand out more money now.

The state received 247 applications totaling more than $9.2 million. The reviewers scored and narrowed the applications to ensure the available $800,000 would benefit as many public safety response departments as possible with their interoperable communications equipment needs.

“Over the past three years we have responded to 15 federally declared disasters, and the chief concern has been interoperability,” Blunt told the publication. “Information sharing during a rapidly unfolding event is critical to saving lives and minimizing damage.”

“Interoperable communications continues to be a major challenge in distressing times and the overwhelming response received further confirms interoperability concerns around the state,” Mark James, Director of the Department of Public Safety, told the publication. “My department is addressing this crisis by seeking state funds to build an interoperable communications network to serve all first responders throughout the state.”

To read the full article, click here: http://www.govtech.com/em/articles/281913