A federal grant of $6,900 will enable emergency responders in north Tillamook County to reach out dozens and even hundreds of miles if necessary to get help in case of a disaster.
The Department of Homeland Security provided the funds to the Emergency Volunteer Corps of Nehalem Bay to purchase a high frequency (HF) radio system. The new equipment could be used if less powerful communication channels are knocked out, or if regional response centers can’t be reached.
“In most instances, we would communicate with Tillamook County Emergency Management,” said EVCNB president Linda Kozlowski. “But if they’re not available, we want to be able to reach farther, specifically to the state’s Office of Emergency Management in Salem or to access Portland resources, such as the American Red Cross.”
The HF system can transmit and receive voice and digital signals. It has been installed in Manzanita’s Emergency Operations Center and would be used only by specially trained communication specialists from the EVC.
EVC communications technical specialist Bruce Maxwell installed the new equipment, including a dedicated antenna.
“We are really pleased to have this added capability to help ensure our local needs are known in time of emergency, and help can get to us from inland,” said Kozlowski.