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Emergency Responders Offer Input On New 911 System

October 11th, 2018 Comments off

Emergency responders from across the county convened on Thursday at the Gunzburger Building to provide input on the new 911 emergency communications system that Commissioners Doug Morley, Paul Heimel and Susan Kefover have approved. The system upgrade will expand coverage to “dark spots” and make the service more reliable. A state grant for about $580,000 has been obtained and other funding is being pursued. The commissioners have also arranged for a long-term loan to help cover the costs, which are estimated at $3.8 million. Commissioner Morley (right), who also serves as the county’s director of emergency services, said the board has been conferring with technical experts and local emergency responders for some time. He added that much of the equipment across the county has become obsolete and could pose a major risk to public safety. “The truth is that we are working with ‘end-of-life’ equipment and technology throughout our network,” said Morley.

Potter’s current system was installed in 2002. Comparable systems typically have had a 10- to 12-year lifespan. Consultant Mitch Smith (left) estimated that the upgraded system would have a life expectancy of approximately 15 years. In addition to equipment improvements, there will be new communication towers built to provide isolated areas of the county with wireless service. Dispatching will continue to be provided from the Tioga County 911 Center. The commissioners expect to have more information available on the specifics and timetable for 911 system upgrade in the coming weeks.