A new analog radio system, serving Scranton’s police and fire departments utilizing the Lackawanna County Emergency Services Center, has gone online today, (August 2), providing better communications service to handle the needs of the city’s residents.
In addition to the City of Scranton, all communities throughout the County will experience enhanced service with upgrades scheduled for August 3.
The $3.62 million system enabled operational sites to go from five to 14 and new radios, transmitters, receivers and antennas to be hooked-up to the County’s wireless network, saving valuable revenue and providing enhanced services throughout the County.
“Safety is our utmost concern. The new radio system increases Scranton’s ability to get messages quicker and clearer and to provide the necessary protection in a rapid fashion,” explained Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley. “This was a long time coming, but it’s here and will pay great dividends for everyone.”
“The City of Scranton is the County’s seat and our most densely populated area. So, it is only fitting that it is the first to go live,” said Commissioner Jerry Notarianni. “We now have cutting edge technology to serve our residents, making us a leader in state-of-the-art technology. We are committed to saving lives and this radio system advancement enables us to do so.”
“I am very proud to be a part of this accomplishment. This radio system is all about providing better service to the public in times of emergencies. It is about saving lives and getting information out to police and fire personnel so that they can do their jobs,” said Commissioner Laureen A. Cummings. “It is a tremendous resource and shows the progressiveness of our community.”
Scranton’s public safety officials are very appreciative of this upgrade investment because of its impact on service, protection and saving lives.
“Our local emergency radio system is a lifeline for both officers as well as the residents of our area and in such the Scranton Police Department appreciates the significant investment the county has made in this very important radio system upgrade,” said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano.
“I’m looking forward to the improved quality of communications with the 911 Center. In emergency services, communications are a very important, if not the most important tool in managing emergencies. We are thrilled that the County is upgrading communications equipment that has not been addressed in at least two decades. It’s a relief to know that the reliability of the new equipment will be constant for years to come,” offered Scranton’s Deputy Fire Chief Al Lucas.
“I would like to thank the Commissioners for standing behind this project for the betterment of the County’s and Scranton’s Emergency Services,” said David M. Hahn, the County’s Director of the Department of Emergency Services.
According to Mr. Hahn, this radio project has taken over two years to complete. The system will be done this week and placed into service. All Emergency Services Channels for the County’s Fire and EMS were rebuilt from the ground up and additional channels were added. A new radio dispatch console was added at the Communications Center in Jessup, which was at “end of life” and had to be replaced or upgraded. The new radio system was expanded from five remote sites to 14 to help to gain radio reception to the first responders in areas of Lackawanna County that previously had no or very poor reception.
The City of Scranton’s Police and Fire UHF radio system, which is completely different than the County’s VHF radio system, was also included in this project. The City’s entire Fire and Police radio system was replaced from the ground up; a task that was long overdue. Its current antiquated radio system had been failing miserably and required numerous repairs. Radio sites in the City have gone from three locations to five.
The present County and City radio systems are extremely obsolete and have not been replaced in some 20 to 30 years. By completing this project and with the addition of the more than 80 base stations and receivers at 14 different locations to upgrade the failing radio infrastructure throughout the County and City, this should ensure that the all residents receive the help they request in a very timely manner without the loss of radio communications. It should be noted that the new radio system was incorporated with the County’s wireless network using the most up-to-date technology. The wireless system is used to communicate through the radios. No phone lines are used, thus driving down and saving on operating costs for the County.