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AFG grants for digital

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powerlineman

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Can you purchase non P25 radios with AFG (assistance to firefighter) grants? I can't hardly imagine the Feds allowing you to spend Federal money on non P25 digital radios such as Icom and Kenwood FDMA radios. Just curious.
 

Alarms50

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If I recall correctly they need to be P25 capable, nothing states you have to go P25, just that the radio has the capability. So, if you want it programmed analog, go for it.
 

rdale

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I don't see either P25 capable, or P25 required listed anywhere in the grant. I just worked the PSIC grant, which in my county was about a half-million for PD and FD, and none of the radios had to be P25 or P25-compatible.

http://www.firegrantsupport.com/docs/2009AFGguidance.pdf

Individual communications equipment (portable radios) and mobile communications
equipment (including mobile repeaters) are eligible, but telephones and cell phones are
not eligible. Under the AFG, DHS will limit funding for portable radios to the number of
seated positions based on the applicant’s firefighting vehicle fleet unless otherwise
justified in the narrative, and will only fund the number of mobile radios required to equip
the vehicle inventory listed in the application. We will not fund mobile radios for
personally owned vehicles, with the exception of the chief fire officer’s personal vehicle if
adequately justified in the application. Mobile data systems (MDTs) are eligible.
Integrated communications systems such as base stations, computer-aided dispatch,
fixed-site repeaters, and wireless and broadband mobile data systems are eligible under
this activity.
The purchase of any communications systems or equipment under this activity should
have the intent or goal of solving interoperability problems, as applicable. Each State will
have the opportunity to review requests for communications equipment, with respect to
conformity with the State Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP). The State
representative will certify that such requests are consistent with the State Homeland
Security Strategy and do not duplicate or conflict with assistance already provided or
imminent. If a State representative determines that an application is either inconsistent
with the State strategy or duplicates the State’s assistance, that portion of the AFG
application will not be funded. Further, applicants within States that have not submitted
their SCIP to DHS for review and approval will not be eligible for interoperable
communications funding. Any applicant seeking funding for eligible equipment should
provide details in the narrative section of the application regarding their local plan to
enable or enhance interoperable communications within their jurisdiction as well as their
efforts to ensure consistency with their State’s interoperability plan.
 
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DaveNF2G

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For the SCIS to be approved by DHS, "interoperable" means P25 digital.
 

rdale

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I don't know what a SCIS is, but our region is spending over a million of DHS's dollars on radios right now through the PSIC grant, and not one penny is going to P25... Our next DHS grant (IECGP) also will be spent on non-digital communications.

Maybe AFG has some separate requirements to do that -- I'm just saying that I don't see them listed.
 
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N_Jay

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In other words, The FEDs are pushing interoperability, but the states have the freedom to screw it up. ;)
 

rdale

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In other words, The FEDs are pushing interoperability, but the states have the freedom to screw it up.
Not sure what you're getting at... We are making sure our equipment is interoperable. None of our neighbors use P25, so buying a P25 radio for us would screw up the interoperability. Buying P25 just because a salesperson tells you it's the thing to do --- is not the thing to do...

We have dedicated links and configurable links in all counties to tap into the MPSCS system, so we get the best of both worlds.

Now if DHS wants to come in and spend all the money needed for infrastructure and equipment for every agency to go P25, I suppose we'd listen. I'm not sure if you've priced that out, but it's a LOT more than $1 million per county (compared to the $1 mil it'll cost to narrowband all 10 of our jurisdictions.)
 
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DaveNF2G

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To clarify - in digital, Interoperable means P25 to the Feds. If everybody is analog, then there is only one "protocol" for that and Interoperable means being in the same band (or having crosspatch capability).

In reality, Interoperable really means that everyone is trained to communicate as necessary with other agencies using the locally available methods and procedures. It means that unified command posts are set up, which eliminates the need for every individual in every agency to have an "interoperable" radio of their own. Interoperability (and NIMS compliance) are rarely technological issues. They are operational issues with non-technological solutions.
 

rdale

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To clarify - in digital, Interoperable means P25 to the Feds.
Thanks - that makes more sense. And to your second note, we're spending a nice chunk of this next grant for training and an exercise to make sure all this 'interoperable' stuff actually works...
 
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DaveNF2G

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Its is based on what your State will require you to buy. In NYS they are only allowing you to buy APCO25 Compliant or Full P25
A bit ironic in view of the fact that the State itself was going to build a statewide system around non-P25 technology and without Federal funding.
 

N4DES

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Not sure what you're getting at... We are making sure our equipment is interoperable. None of our neighbors use P25, so buying a P25 radio for us would screw up the interoperability. Buying P25 just because a salesperson tells you it's the thing to do --- is not the thing to do...
Just because the equipment is P25 capable doesn't mean that you must turn the feature on or use it in your home area. But should some of your folks get deployed to an area with P25, granted that they are in the same band, the radios can be reprogrammed to digital and should be able to communicate.
 

powerlineman

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AFG grant

There is a FD that took bids for a radio system, wrote the specs directly from the Icom IDAS sales flyer. The way the bid was written only an Icom dealer could bid on it. It was like taking bids for a truck that had to have a "dog" mounted to the hood.
 

iamhere300

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Location
Chappell Hill TX
There is NO requirement in the AFG that the radios be digital. There is a requirement that they comply with the state interoperable plan - as pointed out above.

There is NO requirement that the state require digital. Thats right. None.

Missouri for an example, is now requiring that MOBILE radios be P25 trunked capable, but PORTABLES can be non P25 capable. Regular old plain vanilla analog. Repeaters, etc can also be ANALOG, with NO P25 capability.

The agency MUST have a plan however on how they will access the statewide radio system they are building out, and that plan can be as simple as having a radio in dispatch that is capable of operating on the statewide system.

Every state has different requirements, and your AFG must comply with those requirements. If you need help finding those requirements for YOUR state - PM me.

Interoperability in no way means everyone can talk together, nor does it mean that everyone has the same frequencies, or bands. On a major incident, properly managed, you DON'T want everyone with that capability.
 
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