The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a notice of award on September 28 to Bath County for $2,000,000 in funding under the Rural Emergency Medical Communications Demonstration Project (REMCDP) grant. The REMCDP seeks to leverage existing technologies and engage non-medical professionals to help establish or sustain statewide medical communications systems and use existing infrastructure to improve the delivery of rural medical care.
This funding stream will assist the Bath and Highland region with their efforts to modernize operability and interoperability systems within a unique geographical and federally restrictive communication setting. Both counties lie within the National Radio Quiet Zone which makes for a challenging environment to garner licensing for public safety and private radio systems. Each jurisdiction is also near the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the National Security Agency Sugar Grove Listening Station. This proximity creates additional hurdles for the area’s communication strategy. The region’s population of approximately 6,350 is served by the Bath Community Hospital (a Critical Access Hospital) and the Highland Medical Center (a Federally Qualified Health Center).
The project period runs through September 2025. For more information on the DHS REMCDP program visit: https://www.cisa.gov/resources-tools/services/rural-emergency-medical-communications-demonstration-project-remcdp, or contact the CSPDC at (540) 885-5174.