Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Receives Major Grant for Emergency Communications Upgrades

February 06, 2012
Casey Slaughter Becker, 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
County Executive

Over Quarter of a Million Dollars to be Distributed Among County Public Safety Agencies


 Dane County has been awarded a $278,335 grant from the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance to make equipment upgrades that will enable the county’s first responders to join the statewide emergency communications network WISCOM, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


 Dane County is currently building a seamless network known as DaneCom linking all of the county’s emergency responders together across 60 cities, villages, and towns.  WISCOM will link emergency responders from all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties under a similar seamless network. 


 Public safety agencies participating in WISCOM have access to instant, seamless interoperable-communications with other participating public safety agencies across the whole state.


 “Much like DaneCom, WISCOM offers the opportunity for our first responders to be on one interoperable system in and around the entire state of Wisconsin,” said Parisi.  “That seamless communication is critical in helping our first responders quickly address an emergency situation and save lives.  My thanks go to the Office of Justice Assistance for the grant money that will make these upgrades possible.”


 The $278,335 grant will be awarded to Dane County Emergency Management (DCEM), and dispersed to several county and state agencies that were partners on the grant application.  In addition to DCEM, monies will be distributed to the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Dane County Public Safety Communications (911), the Capitol Police Department, the University of Wisconsin Police, and the state’s Department of Criminal Investigation.


 The grant funds will enable the participating agencies to upgrade existing radio software, reprogram existing, and purchase new radios to utilize the WISCOM radio system. WISCOM enabled radios will be ready to utilize the DaneCom system when it comes on line.


 “It is important to remember that radios used by emergency responders are highly specialized computers that must withstand severe work conditions, function in extreme weather, and be flexible enough to adapt to new technologies that improve response,” said Dave Janda, Interim Director of Dane County Emergency Management.  “These grants expand the options for improving Dane County’s emergency communications.”


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