Sparks City Council Meeting 1/9/2012 2:00:00 PM

    Monday, January 9, 2012 2:00 PM
    Sparks Council Chambers, 745 4th Street, Sparks, NV 89431

Consent Items: 5.12

Title: Consideration and possible approval for the City Council to accept the 2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant award.
Petitioner/Presenter: Tom Garrison, Administrative Division Chief/Andreas Flock, Fire Chief
Recommendation: Staff recommends City Council accept the 2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant award.
Financial Impact: This AFG grant will fund the replacement of all fire department portable, mobile, and base station radio equipment. Acceptance of the grant requires an applicant match of 20% - $100,947.
Total Costs: $100,947.00
Fund: General Fund    Account: 603180
Program: Emergency Services (100401)
Amount: $100,947.00    Budget Status: Over Budget (See Budget Correction Plan)
Budget Correction Plan:
This grant was unanticipated at the time the FY12 budget was filed. While only $19k remains in the grant match budget, we will manage to the total FY12 budget and cover the remaining $82k match with cost savings throughout the General Fund.
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief: This grant will fund the replacement of all portable, mobile, and base station radio equipment in the fire department. Many factors have caused this equipment to become obsolete including irreparable due to age, inoperable with many of the frequencies used in the region, and non-compliant with current and forthcoming standards of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Total grant award is $504,739, with a 20% ($100,947) applicant match requirement. The fire department is seeking City Council approval to accept this award.

Background: Due to frequency and equipment limitations with its radio system, SFD has identified a problem with emergency communications and interoperability. A substantial portion of SFD’s radio inventory is no longer supported by the manufacturer, making repairs difficult if not impossible. A good portion of the inventory will also not be able to meet the federal statutory narrow-banding requirements due to design limitations of the existing radios. The City is currently unable to fund replacement of these existing, although obsolete, communications devices originally purchased in 2000. In 2010 a regional Assistance to Firefighters Grant was awarded for the replacement of communication equipment for Reno Fire Department, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, Sierra Fire Protection District, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, and the Washoe County Fire Suppression. Due to lack of funding for the applicant match requirement, Sparks Fire Department was not able to participate. This situation could impact interoperable communications between SFD and all public safety agencies in the immediate region, as well as statewide and into surrounding states. Responding agencies will increasingly be unable to effectively communicate with each other during large-scale emergencies, including structure, wild land, and other emergency incidents. To address this concern, the department submitted an Assistance to Firefighters Grant application in September 2011. On December 23, 2011, the department was notified that they had been awarded the grant, and issued a 30 period in which to accept it.

Analysis: Strengths: The implementation of an updated communications system will ensure competent and efficient service delivery throughout the entire range of emergency types – fire, EMS, rescue, and hazmat. This benefits all public safety agencies by improving communications during multi-agency events, in accordance with the State of Nevada Fire Mutual Aid Plan and Agreement, and numerous automatic/mutual aid inter-local agreements. Not only will this new radio equipment meet the needs of our current system, it is estimated to be capable of meeting future upgrades into the next decade. The purchase and implementation of this equipment will bring SFD in statutory compliance with: 1. Nevada’s Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan for shared channels; 2. The objectives in Homeland Security Presidential Directives 5 and 8; and 3. Meet Priority 4.1 (Expanded Regional Cooperation) and Priority 4.5 (Strengthen Interoperable and Operable Communication Capabilities) of the National Preparedness Guidelines. Equipment purchased through this grant will be supplemented with existing accessories (chargers, batteries, speakers, and microphones) resulting in a substantial cost savings. SFD in-house communication experts will be responsible for the acquisition, assembly, and installation resulting in a reduction of outside contracting by at least 50%, and will provide 24/7 service to the communication system. The requested portable devices will ensure firefighter safety is maintained and protected, enabling the fire department to positively affect outcomes. Weaknesses: Acceptance of the grant commits the City to assume responsibility for a 20% grant match, amounting to $100,947.

Alternatives: 1. Council can reject the acceptance of the grant award. This alternative will only delay the cost associated with replacement of the radio system as the radios are obsolete due to manufacturer non –support and the equipment’s design deficiencies in meeting federal statutory narrow-banding requirements. 2. Council can approve acceptance of the grant award.

Recommended Motion: Staff recommends City Council accept the 2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant award.

Attached Files:
     2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Application.pdf
     Grant Acceptance Package.pdf
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