By Debbie Wachter – New Castle News
Lawrence County is going to borrow $20 million for a new 911 center and various upgrades.
At their meeting Tuesday, the county commissioners unanimously approved the sales agreement for a 20-year-bond issue.
The bond issue also will provide funds for a capitalized interest fund, for refunding and restructuring some of the county’s debt, and to pay the cost of issuing the notes, according to a letter the commissioners received from bond underwriters Boenning and Scattergood Inc. of Pittsburgh.
County Controller David Gettings said the loan payback will not require a tax increase.
By Marty Griffin – KDKA
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Quicker call times and greater efficiency. That’s what City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County officials are saying about the consolidation of 911 service.
It has been a long and controversial process, but leaders say it was well worth the wait.
Mayor Bill Peduto and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald say the county and the city must work together to consolidate every service possible, including 911.
“This is kind of the final step of consolidating the city and county operations together,” said Fitzgerald. “They’ve been located in the same place together, but now there’s going to be actual sameness, if you will.”
“It creates greater efficiency, it creates the ability for the call times to become much less. It allows a better opportunity for the responders to be their earlier to be able to save lives,” added Peduto.
All of this will start rolling next week with training. The consolidation is expected to be completed by mid-September.
August 13, 2014 – The Township has entered into a contract with New World Systems to convert all data used by dispatch to a Microsoft platform. This would allow the 911 Center to be able to eventually take on Millcreek’s dispatch.
This has been the goal of the Erie County 911 Center since 2009 to have a centralized record management system but not all municipalities had the ability to convert their data.
Millcreek’s conversion would eliminate the extra step in communication. This means when you dial 911, the 911 Center will no longer need to transfer your call to a Millcreek dispatcher; they’d already have the information needed to dispatch an officer immediately.
It could take up to 36 months for the conversion and possible move.
Read more: http://www.yourerie.com/news/news-article/d/story/millcreek-dispatch-could-move-to-911-center/21043/iqG4k9VfJkS2z7HPRFgudA
By Bill Cummings – Erietvnews.com
Crawford County, PA – The Crawford County Office of Emergency Services advises that the fiber optic phone lines that were cut in the City of Meadville at the intersection of Water and Willow streets, which were affecting land line phones and some cellular phones from dialing 9-1-1, were repaired per Windstream. Repairs were completed at approximately 4:20 a.m. this morning.
The Crawford County 9-1-1 Center reported that a test of its radio frequencies was successful and that 9-1-1 calls from areas affected by the outage were received. All telephone services in the affected areas should now be operational.
By Jennifer R. Vertullo – McKeesport Daily News / Triblive.com
Fire departments across the Mon Valley are logging on to digital dispatching systems that embrace technology to aid in the efficiency of their response.
With Allegheny County’s Active 911 system and various compatible independent programs, volunteer companies and paid departments are able to respond and call for mutual aid at the touch of a button — a move some have taken in recent months to align their units with what’s available in other regions.
“We’ve been struggling to keep up with technology and acquire what’s been available on the market for a number of years due to budgetary and financial constraints,” McKeesport Fire Department Deputy Chief Chuck Margliotti said. “We’ve been behind the curve for awhile, and we are starting to catch up on a number of fronts.”
In McKeesport, paid city crews are operating on the county’s computer-aided dispatch system to initiate on-duty response and upgrade to an all-call activation.
“We have access to information we never had before while on a call or on scene,” McKeesport Fire Department Deputy Chief Ed Harmon said. “It gives us abilities we didn’t have before.”
By Tim Karan – McKeesport Daily News / Triblive.com
For the first time in decades, Munhall residents need to call 911 for any emergency.
Shortly before 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the borough officially switched from running its own small emergency dispatch center to using the services of the Allegheny County 911 system. Tuesday’s change only applies to fire and police emergencies as Munhall transferred its ambulance dispatching to County 911 more than 16 months ago.
Police Chief Patrick Campbell released a statement making the formal announcement and thanking dispatchers who helped to protect the community.
“In my 19 years with the Munhall Police Department, I have never worked a shift without one of you on the other end of the radio,” Campbell said. “We have all put our lives in your hands 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and you never let us down.”
Munhall council president Dan Lloyd said three of the four dispatchers the borough employed as of this month accepted jobs with the public works department and the fourth dispatcher retired. Lloyd said he believes the three former dispatchers who remained with the borough will retain their seniority in their new positions.
By Margaret Harding – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Emergency radio dispatch communications failed in Allegheny County and Pittsburgh on Thursday morning, officials said.
Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Mike Huss said the uninterruptable power system, the battery that keeps radio communications running in the event of a power outage, went out around 7:15 a.m.
“We lost our radio infrastructure,” Huss said. “We pretty much lost every channel but EMS Channel 2 in the city.”
The county’s Emergency Operations Center could receive 911 calls, but officials had to dispatch first responders using phones and mobile data terminals, Huss said. He said at 8:30 a.m. that channels were coming back into use.
“We’re slowly bringing them around,” Huss said.