Franklin County emergency responders will have enhanced communication abilities thanks to a Missouri Office of Homeland Security grant.

The $94,000 grant will be used to buy about 17 portable radios and associated equipment, said Abe Cook, county emergency management director.

The new radios will be compatible with new statewide and regional communication networks for emergency responders, he said.

“It’s a great resource,” Cook said, adding that the radios will be put in vehicles and buildings.

The county commission approved the grant award contract on Tuesday.

“We are very happy to get this grant,” Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said.

Cook said the new statewide and regional communication networks are very robust and can be expanded.

“It’s a big endeavor the state has done,” Cook said.

The new dual-ban radios will allow Franklin County to have better communication with regional and statewide agencies, he added.

Various emergency responders, including fire agencies, the sheriff’s office and ambulance crews, will benefit from the enhanced communication system, Cook noted.

“It is a countywide solution,” Cook said.

Officials are working on final plans in terms of which vehicles the radios will be put in. The new radios should be in place before July 1.