For communications in a rural area, where fire outbreaks occur, and often there is no radio communications between fire fighters and the many neighboring volunteers who are there fighting the fires alongside the fireman, we could put in GMRS repeaters. The average GMRS Motorola handheld is around $35 per unit. Often farmers and ranches can use these anyway, in the day-to-day functions on the property, but if a repeater network were in the area, these same radios could be the low-cost connecting factor that would bridge the gap between the volunteer fire fighters, farmers and ranches, and the rural fire department!
GMRS repeaters can be built with a couple of older GMRS 20-watt radios, properly programmed, a jumper cable (to link the two together for relaying/repeating the signal) patch kit, and 2 VHF/UHF dipole antennas on a low-cost tower. The total price for one of these could be just a few hundred dollars, including the radio gear, antennas, cabling, jumper relay module, and installation.