A grant from the Dallas County Foundation will help the Minburn Fire Department in better serving the community.
“We’re just very appreciative of the foundation and for their support of our projects,” said Dan Case, rescue captain for the Minburn Fire Department. “I believe that they’re having a huge impact on our ability to be safe and to be able to do our jobs more effectively.”
The department recently received a $4,000 grant from the Dallas County Foundation to purchase six dual band pagers. The department was one of 26 other Dallas County organizations to receive funds from the Dallas County Foundation, in conjunction with Grow Greene County Gaming Corporation, for 2018 community betterment projects.
Case said the new pagers will help with communication between Minburn volunteer firefighters.
Dallas County installed a new digital communications infrastructure last year. The system replaced the outdated VHF analog system.
Case said while the new system improved reliability, coverage and security for the county’s radio traffic, Minburn still receives pages on the old system. The department’s updates on fires, including if more resources are needed or if a truck has already left, only come in on the new system.
“Most of our volunteers live out in the country,” Case said. “Getting those updates before you get here is very useful.”
One way to solve the communication gap between the two systems, Case said, is to purchase new two-way radios. However, he said the most inexpensive hand held radio for the new system runs about $3,000.
“So these dual band pagers do a nice job of meeting that need,” Case said. “They are a lot more cost effective, yet we can monitor both the old analog system and the new digital system.”
The Minburn Fire Department also helped match the grant from the Dallas County Foundation through local fundraising efforts. Though Case said the pagers and other projects would not be possible without the help of the foundation.
“The funding they provide is really very critical for us to be able to afford equipment that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to fund through our budget,” he said.
The department’s budget is tight, Case said, and it needs to also pay for general maintenance and the day-to-day operations.
“So grant funding becomes very, very valuable and important to us to be able to fund special projects like this,” he said.
The six new dual band pagers are currently being programmed. Case hopes the pagers will be able to be put into service within the next couple weeks.
“It’s been a huge benefit for us and we can’t thank them enough,” he said of the Dallas County Foundation.