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News Release

September 14, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Dutchess 911 Dispatchers Assist Broome County
Dutchess also provided support in 2006

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus commends three Dutchess County 911 Public Safety Dispatchers for their assistance to Broome County this past weekend.  Senior Public Safety Dispatcher Gary Coon and Public Safety Dispatchers Bonnie Robertson and Joe Dingee provided dispatcher assistance as Broome County continues to deal with the impacts of Tropical Storms Irene and Lee.  

“Dutchess County continues to lend a hand to other counties in need across New York State,” said County Executive Steinhaus.  “The response and recovery from back to back Irene and Lee storms have stressed resources to the limit and we are happy we are able to provide support.”

Broome County has been dealing with the storm damage of Hurricane Irene, followed by the impacts of Tropical Storm Lee.  Lee doused the Broome County area with over 8” inches of rain in a few hours.   The City of Binghamton was evacuated as the Susquehanna River exceeded the its the flood stage of 25 feet, hitting 38 feet plus on Friday night, September 9th.   Broome County’s 911 operation was overwhelmed with calls.  Broome dispatchers were working close to 30 hour shifts to keep up with the demand.  Complicating the difficult situation, several of the dispatchers had been personally impacted by the storm including five Broome dispatchers who lost their homes.

Broome County reached out to Dutchess County 911 on Friday night, September 9th for dispatcher assistance. The Dutchess County team departed at 5:30am on Sunday morning, September 11th to man an 8 hour shift (8am to 4pm) at the Broome County 911 Center, returning to Dutchess at 7:30pm on Sunday. Dutchess and Broome County use the same Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) vendor, making it easy for Dutchess County dispatchers to handle call taking duties in Broome. The majority of phone calls were non emergency, relating to road closures, the need to continue to boil water and other storm information.   There were several Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls including a call for an elderly female choking during which Dispatcher Bonnie Robertson provided CPR instructions.  

This was not the first time Dutchess County dispatchers have provided assistance to Broome County. In June 2006, six Public Safety Dispatchers, including Gary Coon who assisted again this weekend, manned the Broome County Dispatch Center while Broome County dealt with countywide flooding as a result of record flooding throughout the Susquehanna River Basin Region.

The assistance provided by the Dutchess County team was greatly appreciated.   The Dutchess County dispatcher received warm thanks from Broome County staff, National Guard members who were deployed to the area, even the emergency callers who were all very grateful for the support the dispatchers provided.

“Thank you to our public safety dispatchers and all of the emergency first responders for all of their work and effort, both here in Dutchess County and elsewhere in New York where the need has been great for their skills and talent,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.

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County Executive

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