Miss. gets $70M grant for emergency communications

Published 1:44 pm Friday, August 20, 2010

Mississippi is receiving just over $70 million in federal stimulus money to help improve an emergency communications network for first responders.

The money will allow the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and ambulance services to upgrade their wireless broadband network.

The Mississippi Wireless Information Network, created after Hurricane Katrina, is a secure digital radio system that allows emergency responders to communicate with each other.

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Vice President Joe Biden and Gov. Haley Barbour announced the $70 million grant from the U.S. Commerce Department in separate news releases Wednesday.

Officials say the Mississippi project could serve 90 hospitals, 340 ambulances and up to 9,000 public safety users throughout the state.