Cortland firefighters to get new radios

CORTLAND — The Cortland Fire Department will get 20 new radios thanks to the 2018 Assistance to Fire Fighters Communication Grant, which is administered by Champion.

The grant pays for 90 percent of the purchase, with Cortland picking up the remaining $6,110 as a local match, which is paid to the Champion Fire Department.

Fire Chief David Rea said the department will have 14 new MARCS radios, six small mobile radios and the accompanying equipment for the station. The smaller radios usually cost around $3,000 each — meaning the department got all 20 radios for about the cost of two, he said.

Rea passed around a MARCS radio to City Council members after they approved the purchase at their Monday night meeting.

Rea also announced the department was awarded just less than $3,000 through a state EMS grant. That money, combined with money raised earlier by Lakeview Outreach and Fellowship, or LOAF, will be used to purchase several bulletproof vests to be kept in department ambulances. The vests would be used in the case of an active shooter situation.

“Right now you know school is out. At the end of this year no kids were in school, the active shooter threats went down,” Rea said. “Sooner or later the kids are going to have to go back to school.”

In other business, council took the next step towards getting two new levies on the November ballot — an additional 1.5-mill continuing levy for the police department’s day-to-day needs, and an additional 1.5-mill continuing levy for the fire department equipment and facility needs.

A 1.9-mill, five-year renewal levy for the general fund, which will not increase taxes, also is set to appear on the November ballot.

Council also created a special fund for federal CARES Act money, which the city has received. At the July 20 meeting, council will vote to appropriate the money so the city can begin using it.


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