County emergency communications contracts approved

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Grayson County commissioners approve contracts with firefighters and ambulance service providers for unincorporated areas of the county for 2021.

Contracts with the various ambulance providers and fire departments that cover county residents in the unincorporated areas of the county were approved by the Grayson County commissioners.

Annual increases in the price for those contracts is generally tied to the amount of increase given to county employees. However, this year, there will be no increase in those contracts.

Grayson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tony Bennie said the county will instead be spending more than $1.1 million to upgrade the tower communications program.

Bennie said the county will be putting new equipment on the towers the county currently uses and will also be moving equipment from at Cambridge Shores to Pottsboro to allow for better coverage. The county will also be adding a new tower location in Whitesboro.

The new network will also include a secondary channel that can be used during a high radio traffic event like a major enforcement event or a big fire that requires help from a number of local fire departments.

“The upgrades will give us a more robust communication network,” Bennie said noting the county is paying the full price tag for the upgrade.

“None of the rural fire departments, ambulance services, or police departments are being charged for any of the upgrade costs.”

In an emergency services related matter, the court also approved contracts with PHI Air Medical for the 2021 Air Ambulance enrollment. That agreement allows county residents to buy into an air ambulance service to be used in case they need medical care not found within the area. Grayson County Purchasing Agent Jodi Platt said there are three companies covered by the plans that local residents can buy and she will be back with contracts from the other two companies in the future.