FM radio station run by local volunteer fire department

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SIMSBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — A really hot radio station! WSIM 103.5 FM is a small radio station run by the Simsbury Volunteer Fire Company.

So, how did this group of firefighters get their own radio station? Several years ago, severe storms came through the town, knocking out all power for over ten days. They had a difficult time communicating with citizens so they decided they needed to find a different way.

Fire Marshal Kevin Kowalski had the idea of getting a radio station. The department got some federal funds, applied for a permit, and got a low-powered FM station. They say as long as they have it, they might as well try to do some other things with it, too.

Joe Barrett is a Reverend and goes by Rockin’ Reverend Joe on air. He’s on every Wednesday and Friday at 6:30.

“I’ve got thousands and thousand of records over the years, been digitizing over the years” said Barrett.

Simsbury has over 70 firefighters, all volunteer. They say they get a lot of fire departments asking how they went about getting the radio station.

“We were not aware of too many fire departments that operate their own radio station,” said Kowalski.

“I’m out on the street sometimes and somebody will say, ‘Hey, I listen to that channel. You are doing a great job up there.’ That makes it fun. That makes it worth while,” said Barrett.

The volunteers say it’s for the community and the firefighters of Simsbury. If you’re interested in listening, tune to 103.5 FM.If you have an idea for someone we should talk with for ‘Working for Connecticut,’ send us an email or Facebook message, and watch News 8 every week for more stories on the people who are working to make Connecticut a great place to live.

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