ELIZABETHTOWN - In the hopes of receiving an interoperable communications grant, a regional radio consortium is being formed by Essex, Franklin, Clinton, Washington and Warren counties. As it currently stands, closed radio systems prevent police from speaking with firefighters. However, separate agencies could communicate with each other with the help of V-Tac, a new countrywide set of VHF radio channels.
The desired grant comes from the state 911 surcharge fund and could award each county up to $2 million. Essex County is already in the process of upgrading its public safety radio system at a cost of $10 million, and hopes to put the grant money toward offsetting this cost.