On November 2, 2022, the Philipsburg Borough Council voted to provide PARA with $1000 of initial funding for the construction of an Emergency Communications (EmComm) radio station to be located on the second floor of the American Legion Post #437 in Philipsburg. The station will be located directly adjacent to a large meeting room equipped to serve as an emergency shelter for residents displaced by flooding or other unfortunate events.
The station will initially be equipped for VHF, UHF, and GMRS communications with antennas placed temporarily in the attic. During a disaster or at other times when normal means of communication are compromised, the PARA EmComm station will be able to pass critical messages between local officials and similar EmComm stations located in the following facilities:
- Clearfield County 911 Center
- Centre County 911 Center
- Mount Nittany Medical Center
- National Weather Service office at University Park
- PEMA headquarters in Harrisburg
The borough council has stipulated that in order to receive the funds, PARA must provide documentation of its 501(c)(3) status. Toward that end, a 1023-EZ application form has recently been submitted to the IRS. Upon receiving 501(c)(3) status, the borough has invited PARA to apply for additional funding to cover the costs of migrating the antennas to the roof and equipping the station with emergency backup power and a digital fire/police/ems scanner to provide greater situational awareness.
For more information about the planned EmComm station, please refer to the funding request.