PHOTO: Standing with some of the radios the Sheriff's Office donated to Charles County Public Schools and the Charles County Chapter of the American Red Cross are, from left to right, Capt. Michael Wyant, commander of the Support Services Division; CCPS Director of Pupil Services Keith Grier, CCPS Deputy Superintendent Ronald Cunningham, Sheriff Frederick E. Davis, Charles County Red Cross CEO Mike Zabko and Vic Curtis of the Red Cross.
Charles County Sheriff Frederick E. Davis recently donated radio equipment to the Charles County chapter of the American Red Cross and Charles County Public Schools as part of a partnership to enhance homeland security and emergency preparedness efforts. Mike Zabko, CEO of the Charles County chapter of the American Red Cross, and Keith Grier, director of pupil services for the public school system, accepted the donations Nov. 22 on behalf of their respective organizations.
Sheriff Davis donated 35 portable, or hand-held, radios and 35 mobile, or vehicle-mounted, radios to the Red Cross. Charles County Public Schools received 40 portable radios and 50 mobile radios. The Sheriff's Office previously used the radios to support to an old radio communications system. That system was recently replaced but by activating a patch, the old system and the new system can operate simultaneously, allowing multiple agencies to communicate by radio during an emergency response.
The Sheriff's Office provided the radios to the Red Cross and the school system as part of a formal agreement regarding communication during emergencies. The radios will enhance the efficiency of operations and the interoperability of communications between all responders.
"During an emergency, communication is one of the most critical components to a mutual response," said Sheriff Davis. "Our agencies have planned and prepared for a mutual emergency response and we have a very strong partnership. Now, we also have the tools to communicate should an emergency arise."
"This donation further enhances our ability to communicate effectively and easily with the Sheriff's Office during an emergency. It is evidence of our strong partnership with the Sheriff's Office that enables us to be proactive in our efforts to provide safe schools and to be prepared for emergencies," said Superintendent James E. Richmond.
"This is an addition to our disaster preparedness that is unparalleled to anything we have ever received. Communication is the first line of our defense in disaster preparedness and these radios will put us right up front. I can't thank the Sheriff's Office enough," Zabko said.