BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — Sixteen of Mahoning County’s fire departments are getting radio upgrades thanks in part to a $1.8 million grant.

Thursday, Boardman Trustees voted to invest close to an additional $20,000 for more upgrades.

The Fire Chief’s Association secured a FEMA AFG grant that will allow departments to better communicate with one another and law enforcement.

Boardman Fire Chief Mark Pitzer said the previous system made it more difficult to make calls for mutual aid.

“Communication challenges with agencies on different radio systems, you can’t talk to your counterparts which is a huge safety concern. Some departments weren’t able to talk to their law enforcement counterparts. Some fire departments couldn’t communicate with other fire departments,” said Pitzer.

Boardman Fire will use that additional $20,000 to purchase seven charging units and 36 fire-grade radio speaker mics which are waterproof and heat resistant.