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FCPS Buses Get New Digital Radios Through Grant

<font size="2">"One of the most important things is that they have GPS capability, which means we track our buses in real time, know where they are at every moment."</font>

FREDERICKMD - Public school buses in Frederick County have new high-tech radios just in time for the new school year.

"At Frederick County Public Schools, we're the premier school system in the State of Maryland, and that excellence extends from the classroom, to our buses, to really all aspects of our operations. What you're seeing with our buses in an example of what makes Frederick County Public Schools so special," said Michael Doerrer, spokesman for Frederick County Public Schools.

Commissioners gave Frederick County Public Schools a $1.3 million grant to upgrade technology.

FCPS decided to use that grant to get rid of their old analog radios and buy 350 modern digital radios with a GPS feature. That means all buses can be tracked through their routes.

"Our new style radios have a number of features that will enhance the safety of our buses and the safety of our students on our buses," Doerrer said. "One of the most important things is that they have GPS capability, which means we track our buses in real time, know where they are at every moment, and they also have increased emergency reporting functions, so all you have to do is press a button in an emergency, and you're automatically connected to responders."

Those with FCPS hope the new radios can improve safety on both the buses and for students.

"We're always looking to make sure that we're providing the best, most innovative tools to enhance student safety, and this is really an example of that," Doerrer said. "What we're trying to move into the 21st Century in our buses and provide that technology that'll give our drivers what they need to make sure our students get to and from school safely."

FCPS buses also have new cameras inside to see what the driver and students are doing.

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