BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Broome County officials announced that major upgrades are on the way for the Public Safety Radio System.
The project will benefit 55 different primary first responder agencies from police, fire and EMS throughout the county.
The current system consists of 12 different radio systems with portions dating back to 1970.
Currently there are major coverage gaps and the different agencies can’t communicate with one another through it.
The upgraded system will meet the county’s needs for the next 20 years and will allow departments to communicate with each other.
Director of Emergency Services Michael Ponticiello says this was much needed. “The public safety radio system is the lifeline between the 911 center which receives the calls from the public, and getting the information out to the first responders. Whether it be police, fire, EMS or even public works if you need your street plowed. Having a functional public safety radio system is absolutely critical.”
The cost of the new system is close to $23 million.
Ponticiello says by having a consolidated system throughout the county they are saving about $30 million.
To fund the project the county is proposing an increase to the 911 surcharge and a home rule request must be approved at the state level.
There will be three public forums to discuss the topic, Tuesday at the West Windsor Fire Company, Wednesday at the Chenango Fire Company and Thursday a the Glen Aubrey Fire Company, all beginning at 5:30.