Seward Announces $30,000 Grant to Improve West Oneonta FD Communication System

Photo attached, suggested caption: West Oneonta Volunteer Fire Department Chief Water Schmitt (seated) demonstrates the departments new omni-directional alert & voice mass notification system.for Senator Seward. Senator Seward secured a $30,000 state grant to help fund the new alert system.

WEST ONEONTA, 09/10/18 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref-Oneonta) today announced $30,000 in state grant funding he secured for the West Oneonta Fire Department.  The monies will be used to help with the cost of an omni-directional alert & voice mass notification system.  The new equipment replaces an obsolete system which was over sixty years old.  

“It is imperative that our first responders are properly equipped – to protect life and property and to ensure their own safety,” said Senator Seward.  “This new notification system meets a critical communication need and the $30,000 state grant eases the financial burden on the small rural volunteer department.” 

West Oneonta Fire Chief Walter Schmitt said, “When an emergency call comes in time is of the essence.  The new outdoor siren is a tool that will improve our response time and help alert the community of emergency situations.  Senator Seward’s steadfast support of our department is greatly appreciated.”

The $30,000 award secured by Senator Seward is administered by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services.  Specifically, the funds are being used for an omni-directional alert & voice mass notification system.  The system (Whelen WPS2906) is capable of several different tone warnings for fire alerting and natural disasters along with voice announcements.  The West Oneonta Fire Department will be conducting monthly audible tests as well as daily noontime alerts (Monday-Saturday).  The new siren is 100 percent solar powered.  The total project cost is $45,000.

“The demands on the West Oneonta Fire Department, and all volunteer departments, are vast, but their financial resources are limited.  I am extremely pleased to assist them with this key equipment purchase,” Seward concluded.