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Miss. gets $33M in federal funds for emergency operations

A federal grant totaling $33 million is coming to Mississippi to be used to beef up coordination among emergency responders statewide.

Vicki Helfrich, executive director of the Mississippi Wireless Communications Commission, tells The Clarion-Ledger the money will be used to create and upgrade technology that will allow first responders in the state to view and share data.

Helfrich says the data sharing could be operable as soon as the end of 2017.

She says about 32,000 of the state’s 45,000 first responders already have voice access to a broadband network built up by the state of Mississippi through the last 10 years. State money, grants and Federal Emergency Management Agency money received after Hurricane Katrina helped pay for the projects.

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