Harckham Secures $100K State Grant for Vista FD Radio Replacement Project

State Sen. Pete Harckham

Vista, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham announced today that he has secured $100,000 of state grant funding for the Vista Fire Department to purchase new two-way radio equipment that will meet safety standards for interior structural firefighting.

“I am pleased to deliver this state grant to the Vista Fire Department for communications upgrades knowing how necessary they are,” said Harckham. “Critical infrastructure funding for first responders is an investment that helps safeguards our residents, local businesses and also the brave volunteers, like those in Vista, who serve and protect us.”

The Vista Fire District No. 1 has been using end-of-life radio equipment when responding to calls and operating at the scene of fires and other emergencies. The department’s radio replacement project will replace the older radios with new units that are manufacturer supported and serviceable.

Two-way radios are state-of-the-art tools necessary for volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel. The ability to provide quick and reliable alerts that an emergency has occurred is essential, and reliable communication at the scene can literally mean life or death.

Fire and EMS personnel carry a radio constantly, and since communications are needed over large areas, a powerful radio that can integrate with a repeater system is usually needed. Radios also need to be durable and waterproof. Because volunteer firefighters are alerted via a pager, upgrades to newer two-way radios that integrate paging and message playback functionality eliminate the need to carry two devices.

Finally, making newer radios necessary is the fact that older radios are susceptible to interference from vehicle ignitions, electric motors, high-voltage transmission lines and computers, as well light sources, including LEDs, fluorescent lights and energy-efficient bulbs.

“Obtaining this state grant for our radio replacement project will lend much needed improvement for our communications system so we can adequately and effectively continue to serve our Vista Fire District community,” said Vista Fire Department Chief Jeff Peck. “Radio communications is the nucleus of emergency response, and we look forward to improving our system with the support of Senator Harckham.”

The awarded grant funding was secured within the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM), which is among the grant programs administered by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) to support community and economic development. Harckham has secured more than $700,000 of state grant funding for firefighters in the 40th Senate District since 2019.