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Pharr Fire Department seeks federal funds

On Monday, the Pharr City Commission authorized the Pharr Fire Department to apply for a grant for new public safety radios.

The Pharr City Commission on Monday authorized the Pharr Fire Department to apply for a grant for new public safety radios.

The federal grant, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is awarded yearly to fire departments across the country.

The Pharr Fire Department is seeking $206,000 to purchase new public safety radios. The department’s current radios are 10 years old.

“They are getting old,” said Pharr fire Chief Leonardo Perez. “They are getting to the point that it is a concern. So, before it being too much in repairs, we are trying to address a problem before it becomes a problem.”

But, the age of the radio is not the only concern.

Recently, the Pharr Fire Department upgraded their masks, which use Bluetooth technology. Only a couple of the current radios have this feature.

Should the grant be approved, the city of Pharr would only have to foot 10 percent of the total project cost. That adds up to $23,600.

“It’s a lot cheaper going this route than trying to get it all funded from the city,” Perez said.

Perez says it could be up to a year before the department is notified regarding the federal government’s decision.

“All firefighters across the country apply for it, so it is very competitive,” Perez added.

If the Pharr Fire Department is not awarded the federal grant to purchase new radios, Perez said he will request funding from the city of Pharr.

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