(August 25, 2014) – Thanks to a hazard mitigation grant from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Town of Ocean City’s Emergency Services Department now has a new FM emergency advisory radio system. The FEMA sponsored Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures.
Ocean City’s HMGP grant award to install the new FM Emergency Advisory radio system is $55,000, with a Federal Share of $41,250, and a non-federal share of $13,750.
“We received a very generous grant that will help us better communicate to our residents and visitors during times of emergency,” commented Emergency Services Director Joe Theobald. “We were also very fortunate to receive two licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and had our extraordinarily talented Electronics Services Manager, Robert Dimaio, and staff to build the station from scratch.”
A studio was constructed in the Ocean City Public Safety Building, located at 65th Street, by the emergency services personnel. “We have an amazingly experienced staff, who custom built the news station to fit our needs,” Theobald continued. “Thanks to their skill and dedication, we can now have a quality channel to provide Ocean City residents and visitors real time information, including public service announcements, evacuation traffic management, and alerts for weather and emergency alerts.”
Pre-Recorded and live programming will transmit on WPSB 99.5 FM from the 65th Street Radio Tower & WWOP 100.3 FM from the Race Track Road Ocean Pines Radio Tower. In addition, the radio station has the ability to automatically broadcast live dispatching and emergency responders operations.
“It is a very rare and valuable resource,” Theobald finished. “Now we need to make our residents and visitors aware of the tool and have everyone, including our business partners, program their radio’s to the 99.5 FM station. When the roadside alert lights are flashing, the public can tune in and be informed of emergency information.”
Pictured from left to right: MEMA Hazard Mitigation Planners William Carroll and Mark James and Ocean City Electronics Services Manager, Robert Dimaio.