Looking for Energy Impact Money | VideoEvan Kruegel | 9/10/2012
Emergency services in Williston are in need of some upgrades, but the equipment isn`t cheap. So the city is taking advantage of North Dakota`s Energy Impact Grants and asking the state for help.
"I know they`re going to do their best to help us out. How much of that we get? We don`t know. But yes I`m asking for almost half a million dollars, its not an unreasonable request, but it`s a lot of money," said Fire Chief Alan Hanson.
The first grant request is for the emergency services department. The city is asking for more than $200,000 to update dispatch and call-taking equipment. Right now, emergency vehicles have to be called directly by dispatch, one at a time.
"Instead of calling this particular police officer, and this ambulance, and this fire truck, and every one of them saying what corner is that on? It would all come over on computers. It would have the mapping capabilities, and the information could be sent out immediately, it`s a phenomenal system. It`s new to us, but it`s not new in the industry," Hanson said.
The second grant focuses specifically on the fire department. They`re asking for 10 new computers, one for each emergency vehicle in the fleet. They also want a new truck to replace a one from 1984, as well as some new hoses and protective equipment.
Hanson is especially excited about the possibility of a new Personal Alert Safety System, which would track personnel at the scene of an emergency.
"It won`t be able to say `They`re on the third floor in room 203.` It`s not going to tell us that. But it will say `They`re 11 feet higher than the command post, and they`re 175 feet away to the northwest.` And it will be identified as a unit. It`s not just, `A unit is going off.` It`s `Bob`s pager is going off.`"
The grants are divided up into sections, allowing state officials to award full or partial grants. City officials aren`t sure how much money they`ll receive, but as the area continues to grow, they know having up-to-date emergency equipment is an immediate priority.