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County 911 System Review Nearing Completion

January 28th, 2024

Last year, the Potter County Commissioners contracted with MCM Consulting Group Inc. to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the county’s emergency communications system and develop a technical plan for any recommended enhancements. MCM was also contracted to support local fire, ambulance and police agencies by reviewing their equipment to ensure functionality and compatibility with the county 911 infrastructure.

MCM representatives recently updated the commissioners and staffers of the Department of Emergency Services on the project. The company is putting the final touches on its findings after conducting a multi-phased assessment, including:

  • an inspection and analysis of county 911 towers and related technology;
  • a review of the equipment being used by local and regional emergency response agencies.
  • a survey of all emergency responders to determine potential areas of improvement, ranging from equipment functionality and efficiency to dispatching.
  • site inspections and interviews with emergency responders.
  • preparedness for the deployment of  “NextGen 911,” which provides a faster, more resilient system that allows voice, photos, videos and text messages to flow from the public to the 911 network. It also improves dispatch center management of call overload and transfer of 911 calls based on location tracking.

To pave the way for NextGen 911, Potter County completed a $4 million systemwide upgrade in 2018-19. The project involved 14 communication towers with fiber-optic service, microwave relay technology and other infrastructure. County GIS staffer Julie Logue has been building and maintaining a database of geographic information system addresses for each property in the county, which is necessary for a fully functional emergency dispatching system.

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