Poughkeepsie... “Public safety is always a top priority of mine for Dutchess County,” said County Executive William R. Steinhaus as he proposed a $1,513,000 bond resolution for the purchase and installation a Simulcast Radio Dispatch System for the Department of Emergency Response’s 9-1-1 Dispatch Center. This new system will provide improved radio transmission coverage for the County’s emergency first responders and law enforcement. Dutchess County will be one of the first counties in New York State to install this state-of-the-art technology.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “Our new Simulcast Radio Dispatch System will ensure first responders and police agencies get the information they need immediately so they can swiftly respond to emergency calls and aid residents without delay.”
Currently, there are areas in the county where fire and emergency first responders as well as police encounter weak radio reception, making it difficult for them to receive or hear complete dispatches from the County’s 9-1-1 Dispatch Center. This issue will be corrected with the installation of the Simulcast Radio Dispatch System, which was developed to extend radio coverage without requiring additional frequencies. The system will combine seven tower sites located throughout the county to create one unified system for paging, by broadcasting the same signal from all transmitter sites simultaneously.
As part of the Simulcast Radio Dispatch System, each of the Department of Emergency Response’s tower sites will have its microwave system upgraded and new antennas and control equipment will be installed. The seven tower sites are as follows:
Clove Mountain in Union Vale
Hosner Mountain in East Fishkill
East Mountain in Dover
Depot Hill in Beekman
Brooklyn Heights in Milan
Silver Mountain in North East
Illinois Mountain in Highland
“The Simulcast Radio Dispatch System will provide better coverage and greatly improve the flow of information to emergency first responders across the county,” said John Murphy, Emergency Response Coordinator. “County Executive Steinhaus has made it a priority that we get clear, audible dispatches to police, emergency and fire personnel, so they have the information they need to respond effectively.”
Local area first responders are eager to see this new system installed. Several letters have been written to the County Executive, all expressing support of his initiative. Edward Murray, EMT-P, President of the Dutchess County Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Council wrote, “The ability to simulcast will create a seamless broadcast within the County, allowing for more efficient and expeditious response by our emergency service agencies.”
Bernard Roe, Secretary for the Association of Fire Districts wrote, “The Association (of Fire Districts) goes on record as supporting the implementation of the proposed Simulcast Radio Dispatch System.”
In his letter to County Executive Steinhaus, Thomas Gorman, Secretary for the Fire Chiefs Council of Dutchess County wrote, “For years, you have been unwavering in your support of improving and advancing Emergency Services in Dutchess County.”
Robert Bessman, President of the Dutchess County Association of Chiefs of Police said in a letter, “The simulcast radio enhancement project would be a positive move for the police agencies on the Dutchess 911 frequency.”
The implementation of the Simulcast Radio Dispatch System should be completed by the second half of 2008.
The Department of Emergency Response is also currently finalizing plans for one of the County Executive’s other major public safety initiatives, a $10 million upgrade to the Emergency Response Campus. Phase One includes a new Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Construction is expected to begin later this year. The upgraded EOC will feature a state-of-the-art Emergency Command Center to coordinate activities in the event of any natural or man-made disaster. It will also feature training classrooms that will provide a lecture type environment with new multi-media systems to allow for distance learning courses to assist local fire and EMS personnel in their training efforts.
“We are proud to continue to make advancements in Emergency Response, such as the Simulcast Radio Dispatch System, as we work to continue to strengthen communities and ensure we are keeping families safe in Dutchess County,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.
The bond request for the purchase of the Simulcast Radio Dispatch System will be considered by the Dutchess County Legislature in August.