Thanks to grants from United Way of Graham and Greenlee County first responders will be able to communicate on the same frequencies.

The grant was specifically designed for the Radio Upgrade Project. Greenlee County Health Department Director Steve Rutherford said it will take six to seven months for the upgrade to be complete.

Before now, Rutherford said the agencies were working on outdated communication equipment and different frequencies. This update will allow the Clifton Police Department and the Duncan Valley Rural District as well as the Clifton Fire Department to communicate on the same frequencies as the Greenlee County Sheriff Department.

“We determined that it’s imperative that all first responders are equipped with radio communication equipment that allows them to relay and receive time-sensitive information quickly, clearly, and efficiently,” said Rutherford. “Everybody is going to be on one page, and this way the right hand will know what the left hand has done.”

The Greenlee County Sheriff Department and the Clifton Police Department will still retain their individual dispatch center. However, communication on radio frequencies between organizations will be a possibility.

“It’s a great benefit and asset to the community,” said Rutherford.

The equipment for the radio updates has not been ordered, but a planning meeting is on the horizon to outline the radio update plan.

Grant funding amounts-

Clifton Fire Department — $124,602.66

Duncan Valley Rural Fire District — $76,545.31

Greenlee County Health Department — $28,290.72

Town of Clifton Police Department — $114,082.07

The United Way also awarded the Safford City- Graham County Library a $23,434 grant to fund the ScienceCity programs, Coding Club, GED testing, as well as a subscription to Tutor.com.

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