NY county makes 911 changes to improve safety
The operational changes made will improve 911 operations resulting in improved first responder safety and the safety of the public
By Samantha Field
Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y.
MADISON COUNTY, N.Y. — The Madison County Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and chairman John M. Becker held a meeting June 28 to address the concerns they heard from 911 communicators and first responders at a public meeting the day before. The Committee resolved to implement immediately phases one and two of Winbourne Consulting's recommendations.
"What we heard last night from our 911 staff and the First Responders in Madison County was very helpful in guiding us in our way ahead," Becker said June 28. "We want them to know that the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee heard you and we are ready to work with you to move forward implementing the recommendations of Winbourne Consulting."
At the public meeting held June 27 at Chittenango High School, Winbourne Consulting delivered its examination of the feasibility of Madison and Onondaga Counties merging 911 centers. During that meeting, 911 communicators and first responders talked about their concerns with a possible merger and also issues they are facing today.
Phases one and two include applying new policies and procedures within the Madison County 911 Center and creating new positions. The committee went above Winbourne's recommendations and created five positions that include communicator and supervisory positions. The committee also moved to bring in consultants to immediately improve the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and to implement new policies and procedures.
"These operational changes will improve 911 operations in Madison County, in the end resulting in improved first responder safety and the safety of the public," said Ted Halpin, director of Madison County Emergency Management.
"We want our employees and our residents to know that public safety is the committee's top priority," Becker added. "We value the hard work our 911 communicators do day in and day out. That is why we are making the implementation of the changes laid out in phases one and two our top priority and why a full consolidation with Onondaga County will not be on the table at this time."
©2019 Observer-Dispatch, Utica, N.Y.