Salisbury Fire Department Receives Port Security Grant for SONAR and FLIR Systems

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Salisbury – The Salisbury Fire Department has been awarded an FY 2018 Port Security Grant in the amount of $42,577.00 from the Department of Homeland Security for enhanced maritime operations.  The grant covers two projects which includes a Side Scan SONAR system and a FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) RADAR system.

Side Scan SONAR is a device that is dragged underwater behind or alongside a marine vessel.  It is able to provide an understanding of the differences in materials and texture type of the riverbed.  It is commonly utilized to detect debris items and other potentially hazardous obstructions which can’t be seen from the surface. It may also serve to find wrecks, bodies of drowning/near drowning victims, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) devices, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), and is often utilized in evidence collection, such as weapon or drug searches.

Forward Looking Infrared RADAR (FLIR) cameras utilize sensors to detect infrared radiation typically emitted from a heat source to create an image assembled for video output.  FLIR is utilized by boat pilots to steer their vessels at night, in fog, or in any reduced visibility situation.

The Port of Salisbury falls under the command of the Port of Baltimore Sector which identified vulnerability gaps in its Port-wide Strategic Risk Management Plan (SRMP).  The projects will allow the Salisbury Fire Department to enhance its marine operational capabilities to provide protection to the Port of Salisbury; especially with regard to nighttime domain awareness, and will be available to provide assistance to fire departments in the surrounding region.  The individual units will also provide assistance to the Salisbury Police Department (SPD) and Natural Resources Police when requested.

The equipment allows the SFD to meet the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents through its capability to “see” into the darkness to find victims of accidents and/or criminal suspects (when requested by Law Enforcement).  It also allows the Department to meet NFPA 1925:  Standard on Marine Firefighting Vessels.

The $42,577.00 award represents 75% of the project’s total cost and the equipment is expected to be installed and in service by March of 2019.

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