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Province invests in 2,000 two-way radios for volunteer emergency responders

By Caitlin Snow Dec 19, 2023 | 4:30 PM

Nearly 2,000, new, two-way radios for volunteer emergency responders are coming next fall.

The province is spending $7.5 million for the new equipment, that they say will help with communication in times of need.

“Our volunteer first responders have a crucial role across the province, keeping Nova Scotians safe during emergencies,” said Service Nova Scotia Minister Colton LeBlanc, who is a paramedic and former volunteer firefighter. “The value of their work can’t be overstated. They need a robust and reliable two-way radio system to do their job. I’m pleased we can help support the invaluable work they’re doing to protect our friends, neighbours and loved ones.”

More than 300 volunteer fire departments will get the radios, as well as ground search and rescue teams and other organizations.

They will also be encrypted- a recommendation from the Mass Casualty Commission.

Other support emergency first responders have received from the province include the Emergency Services Provider Fund, which offers grants to fire departments, ground search and rescue organizations and hazardous materials teams.

They also have access to the Nova Scotia Firefighter and Ground Search and Rescue Volunteer Assistance program, which offers personal and family counselling, stress management, nutrition support and more.

May 1 will now be First Responders Day in Nova Scotia; passed by the House of Assembly this fall.

There are roughly 6 thousand volunteer firefighters and 1,200 ground search and rescue volunteers in Nova Scotia