The fund was created in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s action to narrow the bandwidth used by firefighters in order to make more radio frequencies available for cell phone and digital media communication. The bandwidth narrowing, combined with Kosciusko County’s challenging topography and elevation levels, largely because of the many lakes, made radio communication unreliable.
The need to establish a better county-wide communication system for the firefighters was identified in a 2012 Kosciusko Leadership Academy White Paper project. The KLA team will continue to move the project forward.
Kosciusko County Fire Association is applying for a large federal grant to acquire funds for transmitters and receivers for use throughout the county. The federal grant requires a local match. Additionally, emergency responders have identified the need to build more communication towers, an expense federal grant dollars will not cover.
KCFA and KCCF are seeking to raise $200,000 toward the local match and the amount needed to build additional communication towers. The recent donation from Louis Dreyfus covers 10 percent of the goal.
Louis Dreyfus Commodities is home to the world’s largest fully-integrated soybean processing and biodiesel plant. The plant uses soybeans, purchased from farmers and elevators throughout the Midwest region, to make not only biodiesel but also soybean meal and soyhull pellets, which are used as feed sources in the livestock industry.