County EMO unveils $650K projects

By MICHAEL ANICH

The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN —The Fulton County Emergency Management Office is proposing over $650,000 in capital projects for 2022 — projects involving upgrades for both the office and to the dispatch console.

Office Director Steven Santa Maria recently brought his proposed projects to the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee at the County Office Building. The committee voted to send the projects on the Capital Projects Committee for its review July 22.

Santa Maria recommended a capital project estimated to cost between $410,000 and $440,000. The project is to construct or renovate a building for the consolidated operation of the Emergency Management Office in one location. His main office is currently on Route 29.

“We’re out of room,” Santa Maria told supervisors.

Santa Maria said the role of the Emergency Management Office has greatly expanded in recent years, and “all indications point towards continued growth.”

He said personnel have been added to the office, with some personnel working in a “well-traveled hallway.” He said he also has additional equipment, including equipment currently stored outdoors exposed to the elements as well as equipment in the way of the Highway Department and the Board of Elections.

Santa Maria has said the purchase of a “purpose built” building might be the most economical option.

Another proposed capital project is estimated at $230,823 in part from a quote by Motorola Solutions Inc. This would be a Dispatch Console Upgrade Project.

“We’re upgrading the components that interface with the radio system,” Santa Maria said.

This project, which he called “relatively easy,” would involve upgrading the necessary hardware and software that allows the dispatch consoles to communicate with the Public Safety Radio and Microwave System.

This component of the dispatch console is what allows the dispatchers to communicate with all the law enforcement agencies, fire departments, EMS agencies, as well as other local, state and federal agencies.

Santa Maria said that the equipment and software being upgraded and replaced was installed as part o a 2014 communications project and was paid for with grant funding. The equipment has a life expectancy of five to six years. If done in 2021, the equipment will be seven years old and past its life expectancy.

Failure of this equipment would have drastic public safety consequences, Santa Maria said.

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