In March 26 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
The Russell Springs-based Lake Cumberland Area Development District was awarded $242,000 in State Homeland Security grants last week to purchase radio equipment for police and fire agencies and provide assistance to 911 centers in five area counties, including Russell County.
A $156,000 grant will be used in funding 911 centers in Russell, Clinton, McCreary and Adair counties, according to the LCADD.
Russell County is receiving a backup radio console to communicate with first responders, according to Emergency Management Director H.M. Bottom.
"The actual amount that (Russell County) 911 got was $13,700 and some change," he said. "This will add to our present console and make the 911 center much more efficient.
"That will help," Bottom said of the added radio console. "We're thankful for it and appreciate getting it."
The county emergency management director said he and his staff are always looking for available grants to help bring Russell County the most modern emergency equipment.
"With finances the way they have been we're very lucky to have gotten a share of the grant," Bottom said.
"These grants will greatly improve the response time for law enforcement and fire officials in these counties," Gov. Steve Beshear said of the funding.
In the other counties, Clinton County is purchasing 911 call information retrieval software and mapping equipment, Adair County is acquiring computer-aided dispatch software upgrades and McCreary County is obtaining software to upgrade its 911 center move from basic to enhanced.
An $86,000 grant will be used to acquire radios for the Knifley Volunteer Fire Department, Clinton County Sheriff's Office, Albany Police Department and Clinton County Emergency Medical Services; radio console for the Cumberland County 911 Center and regional interface equipment so that the systems will be interoperable.
"Whenever we can provide valuable communication tools for first responders we move one step closer to a safer and more secure commonwealth," said Thomas L. Preston, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. "Interoperable communications help ensure that first responders can coordinate with each other in times of man made or natural emergencies or acts of terrorism."
U.S. Department of Homeland Security's grants are administered by the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.