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County 911 System Review Nearing Completion

November 15th, 2023

Earlier this 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 representatives shared an update on the project this week with the commissioners and staffers of the Department of Emergency Services. A spokesman reported that findings and recommendations are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

MCM has been conducting a multi-phased assessment of the public safety radio system infrastructure, 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 to ensure compatibility and functionality with the county’s infrastructure.
  • 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 staff has been building of a database of geographic information system addresses for each property in the county, which is necessary for a functional NextGen 911 system.

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