Schoharie County emergency services utilizing new Emergency operations and dispatch center


When a town runs out of resources in an emergency, It often turns to the county for help. Schoharie County Emergency Services officials say their brand new Emergency Operations Center was built so local, county and state officials can meet face-to-face during an emergency

"We'd have someone from the sheriff's department here, maybe a local highway department, someone from homeland security might be here,” says Michael Hartzel, Schoharie County Emergency Services Director.

"In an emergency everyone thinks they're the most important, When we look at it as a big picture, when we see who needs the resources the most, it's more efficient," says Colleen Flynn, Schoharie County’s Emergency Manager.

Flooding from Hurricane Irene forced the county to move out of its old emergency operations center and it's old central dispatch center. Now they've moved just across the street from each other on land that officials say isn't prone to flooding.

The county funded it’s brand new dispatch center through a more than a million-dollar grant by the state's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Sheriff Ronald Stevens says their old building dispatch systems were outdated. They've adapted to microwave-based system, which he says has a low rate of dropping out on a caller.

"This relies us with five nines of reliability. 99.999 percentage of a reliability. That point 001 percent would be the down time that this system might see in a year,” Stevens said.

After three Nor’Easters in the last two weeks, county officials say they can’t afford to have their systems go down.

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