Luzerne County aiming for July 1 activation of new 911 radio communication system

Luzerne County’s long-awaited new 911 emergency radio interaction method really should be operational by July 1 if all construction, installation and tests is done on agenda, county Interim Operational Solutions Division Head Fred Rosencrans instructed council very last week.

Rosencrans reported he has been doing the job with council customers because 2016 to progress and full the $23.16 million job.

The project’s addition of crisis conversation towers and new microwave dishes and antennas will address spotty or nonexistent radio protection in components of the 980-sq. mile, largely mountainous county, he said.

It is developed to supply 95% crisis radio protection about the full county, including distant places and the floor flooring of buildings in both equally city and suburban communities, he mentioned.

The procedure will deliver a bare minimum shipped audio high-quality of 3.4, which is the market standard, Rosencrans said.

In accordance to Rosencrans, this signifies hectic 1st responders will not have to repeat messages all through radio transmissions and urgently ask dispatchers, “Can you hear me now?”

Motorola Methods Inc. was awarded the radio program deal. Other providers ended up retained by means of a general public procurement process to assemble and up grade towers and furnish and put in the accredited microwave technique.

Crisis responders will swap analog radios for electronic kinds to exchange messages — including countless numbers of mobile and transportable radios the county bought for police, fireplace and unexpected emergency clinical assistance businesses at a price tag of more than $8 million, officials have explained.

The method will make it possible for two simultaneous conversations on a person channel and improve the potential, in part by earning use of idle channels.

“So generally, we’re getting patchwork quilts of radio channels now and broadcasting throughout 19 sites countywide when we go live on this new process,” he advised council.

General public university districts also will acquire mobile radios with a stress button as portion of the county up grade, allowing university officers to promptly mail a message if there is an unexpected emergency circumstance, he stated.

Alternative of out-of-date consoles 911 dispatchers use to talk with responders in the industry also is section of the challenge.

All machines and components will be tagged and tracked via an asset management technique, he included.


As component of the undertaking, the county included a new crisis conversation tower off Harris Pond Road in Ross Township to boost crisis radio protection in the Back again Mountain. The state’s Fish and Boat Fee agreed to a no-charge lease for the county’s use of its web-site.

Four present towers had to be replaced simply because the previous ones have been not structurally equipped to handle the new gear in compliance with wind and ice-load standards, he said.

The county is transforming from 2-foot microwave dishes to 6-foot types, Rosencrans claimed. The substitute towers are in Freeland, Mountain Leading, the Campbell’s Ledge space of Duryea and at the Unexpected emergency Management Agency in Wilkes-Barre.

Other tower web sites necessary further planning do the job, which includes electrical remediation these kinds of as grounding, he said.

There are 19 tower web sites in whole.


The challenge is predicted to cost $23.16 million, Rosencrans said.

Council experienced allocated $1 million toward the undertaking and then voted to borrow an additional $19.7 million to assistance fund it in October 2019, generating praise from hearth chiefs and other crisis responders attending meetings all around that time to categorical assist for the project.

Extra funding arrived from $1.576 million in point out grants.

Rosencrans reported 911 funding has protected the variation, which signifies he did not have to find added resources or borrowing from the county to protect foundation venture prices.

The county’s council-accepted deal with Motorola also locked in additional once-a-year servicing charges in excess of 20 several years, but officers have reported these will be protected as a result of the annually standard fund funds course of action.

During final week’s presentation, county Councilman Kevin Lescavage, who took place of work in January, mentioned he would like to arrange a committee to critique the job. He included that he is “100% powering 911.”

“It’s a huge price for the county, and I just want to make certain we’re finding almost everything we paid out for,” Lescavage claimed.

“I welcome it,” Rosencrans claimed of the overview.

Enlargement proposed

Councilwoman LeeAnn McDermott questioned Rosencrans about his pending ask for for $3 million of the county’s remaining $99.6 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding to extend the venture.

Rosencrans mentioned he is requesting $1.6 million for a function that would make it possible for 911 centre staff to remotely connect to the far more than 4,000 unexpected emergency radios in the area so they really do not have to bodily maintain them to complete software program, firmware and other updates as element of the original programming and ongoing maintenance. Two 911 staffers — 1 portion-time — deal with the programming, and the palms-absolutely free aspect will conserve time, he said.

The other American Rescue request is for $1.4 million to include a element that will transmit the GPS coordinates of responders, giving their existing spot when they transmit or communicate on the new program. Simply because it will increase responder basic safety, locale identification was 1 of the most requested products when 911 held schooling and dialogue classes with outdoors companies in January, he said.

Each purchases meet up with American Rescue funding guidelines, Rosencrans mentioned.

The functions ended up slice from the first undertaking contract to keep within just price range, he said.

Councilman Robert Schnee thanked Rosencrans for the “great job you are doing” with the venture.

Right after the conversion, the system will be encrypting police channels for officer security at the request of the Luzerne County Chiefs of Police Association, while fire and EMS channels likely won’t be encrypted, officers have claimed.

Rosencrans’ presentation is posted with council’s March 8 assembly agenda at Aspects about the project are posted at

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.