Updated 08/10/2012 07:44 PM
Sullivan legislators to vote on $10 million emergency communication upgrade
Sullivan County officials are looking to upgrade the county’s emergency communication system. Venise Toussaint has more on the multimillion dollar project.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
SULLIVAN COUNTY, N.Y. -- The way Sullivan County emergency crews respond to calls may soon see some changes.
Public safety officials are proposing a countywide emergency communication system upgrade. They say 911 center equipment is old and outdated and direct communication between fire, EMS and police during emergencies is virtually non-existent.
“It’s always important for emergency services to be able to communicate on the scene of any incident,” said 911 coordinator Alex Rau.
The proposed $10 dollar upgrade calls for purchasing new equipment, adding three more radio towers in some rural areas and improving efficiency. As it stands, emergency crews from different agencies cannot communicate with each other without first going through the 911 center.
“This new system will have tactical frequencies that if we have a large operation, we will be able to announce that all units go to a certain frequency and they’ll be able to talk to each other,” said Public Safety Commissioner Richard Martinkovic.
But before the project can move forward, county legislators will need to vote on a $7.5 million bond. The county has already secured a $1.2 million grant and officials are looking for more grant money to help offset the cost. If passed officials say taxes will be increased, though it’s unclear at the moment how much.
"I think that this will be a win-win for the public that when they ask for help they will be able to get it and that help will be able to talk amongst themselves to deliver the service that's required," Martinkovic said.
County legislators are expected to vote on the bond next month.