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New 911 Simulcast System For Police Calls Is Up & Running

A cost-efficient, state-of-the-art broadband network, providing law enforcement with greater reach and crisp, clear communications is up and running in Lackawanna County.

Commissioners Corey D. O’Brien, Jim Wansacz and Patrick M. O’Malley announced that the 911 analog conventional three-channel simulcast system for the police radio calls is live.

“This radio system is a tremendous asset and upgrade for Lackawanna County. It has enhanced our public safety officers’ capabilities by providing radio service into areas that experienced transmission difficulties,” said Commissioner Jim Wansacz. “The new signal will not only help to save lives, but also provide vital services much faster and efficiently.”

“The new police radio system is a tremendous resource. It shows to businesses looking at our area and local, state and national authorities that we are on the cutting edge of technology by utilizing our wireless network to deliver this service,” explained Commissioner Corey D. O’Brien. “It is also saving the County thousands of dollars because we are no longer using telephone lines for radio transmissions.”

“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 so that they can do their job,” said Commissioner Patrick M. O’Malley.

David M. Hahn, Director of the County’s Department of Emergency Services, stated that this radio project has taken over two years to complete. The system was completed in late September and placed into service.

“All three County police channels were rebuilt from the ground up. We have added several strategically located radio sites in various locations throughout Lackawanna County to ensure radio service to all Police Departments in the County. We hope to do the same with the County’s Fire and EMS channels very soon,” Hahn noted.

The police radio project was funded by a $500,000 COPS grant, which could only be used for law enforcement related initiatives.

Three County police frequencies were rebuilt and new radios, receivers and more sites were incorporated. This undertaking has provided radio signals to hard-to-reach areas, enabling law enforcement officials to better assist the public and get back-up and other assistance quicker when needed.

The County’s wireless network plays a prominent role in this venture. The wireless system is used to communicate through the radios. No phone lines are used, saving the County money.

Lackawanna County’s 911 Center To Host Basic SKYWARN Spotter Course On March 5th

The National Weather Service office in Binghamton, NY, will offer a free, basic SKYWARN (weather spotters) training class on Wednesday, March 5, from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Lackawanna County 911 Center, Jessup.

This class is for beginners or anybody that has a general interest in weather.  Previous training or equipment is not required.  The course will instruct volunteers on how to report severe weather to the National Weather Service.

The SKYWARN program is a nationwide initiative that provides real-time severe weather reports to the National Weather Service. Trained weather spotters are crucial to the National Weather Service for providing accurate, severe weather warnings which can save lives and property.

Space for the program is limited.  People can register or submit questions via email to bgm.skywarn@noaa.gov or call (607)-729-1597, EXT 4.  Information on this class and other programs in the area are listed on weather.gov/bgm or on Facebook.

The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world.  Its mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources.

Heroes Day Celebration

Everyday public safety personnel provide assistance to those in need, transport people to the hospital, rescue individuals from a fire or natural disaster, or provide a sense of safety to families or young children.

Police officers, firefighters, military personnel, sheriffs, EMS workers, 911 dispatchers and other “blue” officials are truly “everyday heroes” in Lackawanna County and nationwide.

To recognize their work and sacrifices and to acquaint area residents with the public safety equipment and services available to them, the Lackawanna County Commissioners are again sponsoring the third annual “Heroes Day” on Saturday, October 5, from 10 am to 2 pm at the 911 Center, Valley View Drive, Jessup.

According to Commissioners Corey D. O’Brien, Jim Wansacz and Patrick M. O’Malley, this tribute to public safety and military personnel will have something for everyone to see, enjoy and learn.

Safety, disaster and SWAT equipment from throughout the County will be on display along with informational booths for residents to pick-up information that they can utilize when the need arises.

The day will include free refreshments, entertainment, giveaways, prize drawings, tours of the 911 Center, and children’s activities.

Horses and two canines from the County’s Sheriff’s Department and the public safety units of area municipalities will be on display. Valuable information on County services and the programs offered by area community and social agencies will also be available.

Several antique emergency vehicles will also be a part of the program.

The following organizations, along with their equipment, will be in attendance: Clarks Summit, Blakely, Old Forge, Chinchilla’s foam trailer, Moscow, Jermyn, Dickson City, the Peckville Smoke House, Penn DOT road equipment, the County’s De-Con Team, and the County’s Urban Search & Rescue Team.

The County’s DARE Program and SWAT Team will be on site along with the Pennsylvania State Police, 911 Mobile Command Post, COLTS, Coordinated Transportation, Bookmobile, and other County Departments such as: Corner’s Office, Voter Registration, Veterans Affairs, Drug & Alcohol Office, Highway Safety Program, IT Department, Environmental Sustainability Office, and Area Agency on Aging.

The Visitors Bureau, Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, Wills For Heroes, Operation Life Saver, EMS, and the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps will also be displaying at the event.

The Penn State Extension will have displays featuring the Master Gardeners, 4-H, Dining With Diabetes, and Nutrition.

For further information, contact the Gerard Hetman, the County’s Community Relations Coordinator, at 570-963-6743, ext. 1872.