GRENTA, La. — Jefferson Parish firefighters will no longer use the parish’s backup radio system after a recent funding spat with the Jefferson Parish Department of Emergency Management.
The issue was broached by Parish Councilman Chris Roberts at a recent council meeting after Roberts said an employee in emergency management office accused West Bank volunteer fire departments of holding the current budget process "hostage." At issue was a push by emergency management to get all of the parish’s fire departments to pay a total of $250,000 to help with the cost of several capital projects associated with the parish’s backup radio system. Firefighters were pushing back against that plan, noting that the radio system is used primarily by the Jefferson Parish Public Works Department.
Although parish firefighters use the same 700 megahertz radio system as the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office for their main system, they share an 800 megahertz system with public works and other departments as a backup system. Roberts questioned why the fire departments were being asked to pay so much money for a system many of them have never needed to use.
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