Monday night Greenville City Council voted to spend $575,635 for new radios for the Greenville Fire Department.
Public safety authorities said these radios are desperately needed. The ones they have now are about 15 years old and at their end of their useful life.
Monday, the council passed the ordinance to allocate the money from the Capital Projects Fund without discussion on its second and final reading.
The current radios are so old that they can no longer be fixed.
“We couldn’t find parts for them any longer,” said Frances Moore, who is the communications administrator for the Greenville Police and Fire Communications Center. “The screens would break. The transmit buttons would not work. Different things would go wrong with them, but because those radios were at the end of life, parts were just not available.”
Moore said the radios came to the end of their useful life in December.
Old radios haven’t impacted service to the public, according to Moore. She said it’s been a strain on personnel, but they have some spares they can use.
“We’ve had people loan us stuff from Spartanburg,” Moore said. “We’ve had loans at times from Laurens County, different places.”
The money approved by Council Monday will go toward new radios for the Fire Department because all of their radios have to be replaced at the same time for safety reasons.
“We work in a zero visability environment often, so it’s important that we know exactly where the controls are on the radios,” said Greenville Fire Department Chief Steve Kovalcik.
The old Fire Department radios will be used as back-ups for the police, public works, and parks and grounds departments, which are also aging. The radios for those departments will be replaced over the next three years, according to Moore.