"This is going to be an outstanding improvement, because it's going to improve fire ground safety," Ricky Thomas said.
Thomas is a Lieutenant for the Potosi Volunteer Fire Department. Potosi received a grant for $26,000 to buy new radios for their trucks. This upgrade will help them meet a new government regulation.
"The stuff is mandated, but where is the money going to come from? There are certain safety issues we have to comply with and finding the money to do is very difficult," Thomas said.
The upgrade isn't about the radio themselves, but the frequency they transmit. As of January 1, 2013, all public service radio have to go narrowband. That is a type of signal they transmit.
"That is a simple reprogram of a radio. The end user will never know anything about it," Bill Shaw, with the Hamby Vol. Fire Department said.
The Hamby Volunteer Fire Department is almost in completely inline with the new regulation. Most of their radios are made after 2002, which means they can be reprogrammed.
"We have a couple that are not reprogrammable and they cannot be narrobanded. Those will have to be replaced," Shaw said.
While Potosi and Hamby are doing well with the changes, there will be some departments that struggle.
"How long it will take to get everyone transferred over? You don't know, it's according to how long it takes them to get the money from fundraising, or get the money from grants," Thomas said.