Niles Fire Department to get $1 million grant

Berrien County has big plans for a million dollar grant coming to them from the federal government.

The "Assistance to Firefighters Grant" just shy of $1 million was officially awarded Friday from the Department of Homeland Security.

It will be matched by local money from Berrien County's 911 funding. The money will be used to update the Dispatch Communication Systems in Niles and Benton Township.

Niles Fire Chief Larry Lamb says it will improve communication to 50 some different emergency response agencies in the area.

“It's similar to if you had a 15 year old computer and you exchange that for an iPad,” says Larry Lamb the Niles Fire Department Chief. “And the different ways you could use that tool. We've got an old computer and it's going to give us different options. Both communicating to the dispatch center, but also how they communicate out into the field and how effective that communication model is.”

They hope to have the upgrade complete by the end of the year.

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