Town Talk: Essex Fire gets FEMA money for new radios

Work by local artist Bonnie L. Sylvester and other members of Manchester Artist Collective will be on show this month at Santander Bank, 17 Union St., Manchester.

The Essex Fire Department has received more than $143,000 in FEMA grant money to purchase new portable radios.

The grant also comes with a 5 percent match from the town of Essex.

The new radios have three different types of radio frequency bands and can connect to any city or town’s frequency. In addition, they are intrinsically rated to not cause an explosion when used in an explosive atmosphere and have an emergency button to alert other fire personnel and dispatchers when a firefighter is in distress. 

The total FEMA grant, worth $430,000, is being split between Essex, Topsfield, and Middleton Fire Departments. Topsfield Fire Chief Jennifer Collins-Brown and Lt. Conor Brown wrote the grant request with specific input from Essex Fire Chief Daniel Doucette, Middleton Fire Chief Thomas Martinuk and their command staffs. 

"These radios will be a game-changing addition to the mission of the Essex Fire Department, as a reliable means to communicate in emergencies with an ergonomic design, making its use easy under stressful scenarios, with all the modern capabilities to help keep our members operating safely in any situation," the department said on its Facebook page. "The Essex Fire Department looks forward to working with the Topsfield and Middleton Fire Departments as well as our partners at the North Shore Regional 911 Center in the roll-out and implementation of the new equipment as soon as possible."

New water lines

Water lines on Magnolia Avenue, Raymond Street and the remaining half of Ocean Street in Manchester will be replaced by the end of the year.

This $1.5 million project aims to enhance flows and provide better water as the current lines are undersized.

Construction is expected to begin this fall. Impacted residents will receive more details on the project before work begins. 

Art on show

Work by the Manchester Artist Collective, composed of Marion Hall, Jeannie McIntyre, Charlotte Roberts and Bonnie L. Sylvester, is being featured at Santander Bank, 17 Union St. in Manchester, through Oct. 2. Works in watercolor, gouache and pen and ink are represented by the local artists.

Town Talk is compiled by Michael Cronin. If you have a news tip or an item for Town Talk, please contact him at 978-675-2708, or


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