Wythe County receives new technology to keep firefighters safe

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WYTHE COUNTY (WSLS10) Fire departments in Wythe County are now be able to better communicate when there is a fire.

The County recently bought 300 radios thanks to $300,000 in grant money.

The radios were distributed to five out of the six fire departments as well as all three rescue squads in Wythe County.

Fire Chief of the Ivanhoe Volunteer Fire Department Gary McKinney said they received the new radios in January.

Nearly 30 firefighters at the department has one.

Because of the radios, the chief said he has noticed improved communication with other fire departments. "We can communicate with them, the rescue squad, the helicopters, a lot of capabilities," McKinney said.

McKinney said a new "man down" feature allows a firefighter to call for help with the push of a button if hurt he or she is hurt.

"They're going to have the radio equipment they need to not only get where they need to go but also when they get there, if a situation arises, they need immediate help, these radios will make that possible, " said County Spokesperson Jeremy Farley.