Crawford County Sheriff’s Office Department of Emergency Management Awarded a Computer and HazMat Response Equipment Grant

The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office Department of Emergency Management was awarded a Computer and HazMat Response Equipment Grant for the total amount of $9,043.74. This grant will purchase a suitcase repeater along with needed HazMat supplies.

During the 2023 Train Derailment After Action Report/Improvement Plan, an area for improvement was discovered. This area focused on cross-jurisdictional interoperability with communications, including across state lines, multiple jurisdictions, and multiple responder networks (police, Fire, EMS). The After Action Report/Improvement Plan states, “Some mutual aid partners from Iowa do not use national radio standards for radio programming, which makes it difficult for them to communicate with other organizations in a multiagency incident response.”

A suitcase repeater will allow responders to utilize interoperability channels at a longer distance, no matter what agency they are with.

Director of Emergency Management Jim Hackett believes this should help strengthen the easiest point of failure in any incident “Communication Capabilities”. In any incident, this is usually one of the biggest points of failure. “We always work through any issues that arise and come up with a successful plan. This will just be another tool to strengthen our resiliency.”

Crawford County has utilized similar equipment at the County Line Music Festival, with great success. We have increased attendee safety and officer safety 10-fold by fixing communication issues with this equipment.

This equipment will not only benefit us, but any surrounding county that may request this mobile suitcase repeater”, Says Hackett.

The match (20%) is covered by a budgeted expense which includes the payment agreement to the Vernon County HazMat Team. This is a four-county team that covers Vernon, Crawford, Iowa, and Richland Counties. Partnerships like this strengthen all our community responses with specialized training that can be shared across counties.