Snow Storm/Blizzard Reimbursement Program

A special meeting for all elected officials, staff and administrators from area townships, boroughs, municipalities, cities and school districts will be conducted by the Lackawanna County Commissioners on Wednesday, March 22, at 6 PM in the Conference Room at the 911 Emergency Services Center, Valley View Drive, Jessup, to outline the process for securing reimbursement for the cleanup related to the recent snow storm/blizzard.

“It is critical for our elected officials or a staff member to attend this program.  In touring the County, I have witnessed how hard we were hit by the storm.  Securing State and Federal money is important for both your bottom-line and general operations,” said Commissioner Board Chairman Patrick M. O’Malley.

County and Emergency Management Agency (EMA) officials will outline the criteria for securing the necessary funding for the cleanup and related costs associated with the work that had to be done to resume normal operations after the storm.

The timeline for the process, eligible and non-eligible costs, the forms to be prepared, and other pertinent information will be outlined at the meeting.

It is important that all of the townships, municipalities, districts and hospitals maintain all paperwork and receipts for the highest amount over a 48 hour period for equipment, fuel, overtime, contractors and any other expenses involved in cleaning up from the storm.  The material will be vital for completing the required forms.

The threshold for Lackawanna County to secure reimbursement for storm cleanup is $740,000.  If this level is met, all parties who submit the paperwork/application would be eligible to receive $.75 on the dollar.

There is a 30-day window for submitting the paperwork for possible reimbursement.

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Heroes Day Event To Honor Public Safety Personnel

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

According to Lackawanna County Commissioners Patrick M. O’Malley, Jerry Notarianni and Laureen A. Cummings, this year’s sixth annual Heroes Day is set for Saturday, September 24, from 11 am to 2 pm at the County’s 911 Center, Valley View Drive, Jessup.

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

The day will include free refreshments, giveaways, tours of the 911 Center, and children’s activities.  The event is being sponsored by the Commissioners, District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Emergency Services, the Lackawanna-Susquehanna Office of Drug & Alcohol Programs, Conxx, SkyPacket Networks, and Purosky & Tuckerman.

Jeff Thomas, a prevention specialist in the Lackawanna/Susquehanna Office of Drug & Alcohol Programs, will discuss the opioid epidemic at 12:30 PM in the center’s media room.

Canines and the Mounted Unit from the County’s Sheriff’s Department and the public safety units of area municipalities will be at the event.

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:  Tanker 15 from Elmhurst/Roaring Brook, Command 93 from Old Forge, Throop Rescue 27, the Smoke House from Wilson Fire Company, Dunmore Ladder 6, Engine 58 from Jermyn, Decon Team, Commonwealth Health Ambulance, Pennsylvania Ambulance and Cottage Ambulance.

The County’s DARE Program and SWAT Team will be on site along with the 911 Mobile Command Post and EMA vehicles, COLTS, the Bookmobile, and the following County Departments: Voter Registration, Parks & Recreation, Veterans Affairs, Community Relations, Drug & Alcohol Office, Highway Safety Program, the IT Department’s Wireless initiative, Environmental Sustainability Office, Area Agency on Aging, and the Coroner’s Office.

The Pennsylvania National Guard, Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, Scranton Police Department and Civil Air Patrol will also be at the event.

The Penn State Extension will have displays featuring the Master Gardeners and 4-H programs along with its mini golf course.

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

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Lackawanna County Boosts The County’s & The City Of Scranton’s Public Safety Radio System

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.

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