Motorola Solutions has been awarded a $75 million contract to design a radio system for first responders in St. Louis County.
The system will allow more than 150 police departments, fire departments, paramedics and other public safety agencies to communicate directly with each other by radio. Officials say their inability to do that makes it difficult to respond to disasters effectively.
It’s scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on Wednesday, November 9th, and will be broadcast over every radio station, TV station and cable network across the country. Mike O’Connell with the Missouri Department of Public Safety says state officials are helping spread the word, so that residents don’t mistake the test for a real emergency.
The federal government has provided millions of dollars to state and local governments to get them prepared to respond to the next 9/11.
In St. Louis and other regions across the country, the funds allowed fire departments to purchase equipment for all types of rescues and train their people to use the equipment. The requirements of the federal grants forced agencies to work together.
But federal funding dropped by more than 50 percent between fiscal years 2010 and 2011, and no one is sure how much money will be available for fiscal year 2012. And that’s raising some concerns about the sustainability of the region’s plan to respond to a mass disaster.
Missouri Senate Committee to Release Redistricting Map Today
A Missouri Senate committee is preparing to consider a plan for developing new congressional districts. Missouri is losing one of its nine seats in the U.S. House, and the state Legislature is responsible for drawing the boundaries of the eight resulting districts. The Senate committee on redistricting is scheduled to release its proposed map today.