LINKS
2018-02-13 / Front Page

Delaware County Emergency Services Shares in $55 Million Grant


Delaware County 911 dispatchers, from left, Tom Craggy, Brennon Tompkins and Becky Isham. 
Contributed Photo Delaware County 911 dispatchers, from left, Tom Craggy, Brennon Tompkins and Becky Isham. Contributed Photo Delaware County was awarded $651,691 in state grant funding to improve emergency communications. The funds were awarded as part of an annual State Interoperable Communications Grant. The funds, previously competitively awarded, are now allocated to each county on a “fair share” basis, according to Delaware County Emergency Service Director Steve Hood.

Delaware County has so far received $5 million in State Interoperable Communications Grants, which had been used to construct new communication tower sites throughout the county.

In 2017, the county bonded for $6 million to finish the tower site project. The grant, Hood said, cannot be used to pay off the bond and he is not yet certain how the funds will be used.

Of the $651,691, $480,891 is designated for expansion of communication systems, exchange of valuable data, and streamline information to enhance collaboration and assist first responders.

The State Interoperable Communications Grant, administered by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, can be used to expand radio coverage by installing new equipment at towers and antenna sites, implement Next Generation 911 technologies and standards, set up communication channels among public safety radio systems, consolidate emergency services dispatch centers, support the operations of public safety dispatch centers, and deploy new technology to link their systems together. The funding can also be used for training and exercises to promote efficient inter-regional communications, cooperation, and overall first responder readiness.

In addition to that funding, Delaware County received $170,800 as part of a Public Safety Answering Points Operations Grant.

Those funds, Hood said, will be used toward salaries, fringe benefits and maintenance contract costs for the 12 full-time (soon to be 14) and six part-time 911 dispatchers.

Return to top