Public Safety Advisory Committee
Executive Committee, October 12, 2017
Meeting Minutes

The Public Safety’s Advisory Committee’s Executive Committee met on October 12, 2017 at the Erie County Department of Public Safety (ECDOPS) building at 2880 Flower Road. The meeting was called to order at 1:00 PM by the Advisory Committee’s Chair, James Rosenbaum.

Member’s in Attendance: Jim Rosenbaum, Scott Heidt, Jim Carstater, Bill Hagerty, Charles Ramsey, Brian Mesaros, John Durlin, Gregory Baney Jr., Jessica Horan-Kunco, John Grappy, Cathy Hornick, Dale Robinson and Keerinique Valencic.

Approval of Minutes: Minutes from the General Committee meeting held on 09/12/17 were approved with no corrections.

Public Safety and Subcommittee Reports:

Director’s Report – John Grappy

  • 2018 budget proposal was presented to the County Executive at the end of August.
    • It totals $7.986 million which is just under $200,000 less than last year.
    • We are scheduled in front of County Council to review our proposal on 10/23/17 at 5:00PM.
  • Capital costs have been requested through PEMA. Our largest expenditure is our regional CAD system, we will find out in a week or two if we have been approved.
    • Our current system was procured in 2008.
    • If approved the system will be covered by the state. The only thing that would not be covered is the record management system.
    • We are looking to have this project take place by the end of 2018.
  • Through Act 12 we were able to save $376,000.00 in 2017.
    • If we are approved for this new system it will save $2M.
    • Last week we went live with a new voice logging recorder for the region. With a direct savings of $143,000.00 to Erie County.
  • Next Gen Radio System
    • EF Johnson was here all last week to uncrate everything in the garage. They charged, updated and tested the radios.
    • This week they are training on the programming software and physical installation of equipment.
    • EF Johnson was awarded the contract as the radio manufacture, but Mobilcom was contracted by EF Johnson to install and maintain the system under the warranty. Mobilcom will also be doing all of the installations except for Erie.
    • Mobilcom will be reaching out to all the agencies currently on a UHF system for early deployment. We will be moving forward with the remainder of agencies immediately after.
    • We will be scheduling a meeting this month to train all users on the basic functions and features of the new mobiles and portables.
    • There was a discussion about accessories for the radios. An accessory list will be sent out. Also, if you can send make and model of accessories you currently have to EF Johnson; they can test it to ensure it will work properly with the new radios.
    • We are moving forward with a letter of recommendation for procurement of the bids for tower steel and shelters. Contracts will be awarded next week and items will be ordered.
      • The next RFP to be released on Friday is for the emergency generators.
    • All land surveys and geo technicals have been received from KCI Technologies.
  • I had a meeting with Chief Mike Slicker from NE Borough Police Department and also invited by NE Borough to attend their meeting on 10/02/17. Their intent is to have NE Borough Police give notice to East County to come on board with Erie County Dispatch.
    • Informed them that we would not consider this until 2019.
    • It is currently under consideration with NE Borough as they are discussing the Fire Department moving as well.
  • First Net nationwide broadband network awarded contract to AT&T. The plan was provided to all 50 states on September 19th. The Governor has 90 days to opt in or opt out of the plan. Per the act, if the Governor opts out they would have to come up with their own plan.

Emergency Management – Brian Mesaros

  • Rail Safety Plan is done and in draft form right now. Tonight we are doing a table top with West Co Emergency Management to try and exercise the plan. Whatever changes we can make to the plan we will and then will move east. We will make adjustments after each exercise so that when we are finished, we will have a solid plan.
    • Most of the spill trailers are deployed.
    • The Hazard Mitigation Plan is in draft form right now. We will be ending the comment period by the end of this week so we can send the plan to PEMA and FEMA.

Emergency Management – Dale Robinson

  • Just got back from Corry. We had a meeting regarding a tabletop exercise that will be a community wide on November 1st.
  • Still plugging away on the update of the EOP and the annex for logistics.
  • We purchased a water buffalo from federal surplus last week for $500.00. We will need to do some cosmetic work to it and then it will be available. The water buffalo will be for non-potable water.

Communications Committee – John Durlin

  • We came up with a way to identify the radios for our inventory. From the unit ID we can tell what agency, whether it’s a mobile or portable, etc.

Emergency Medical Services Committee – Bill Hagerty

  • The rewrite of the MCI plan had some bumps and bruises. My assistant believes she will have it completed by the end of this week.  Hoping to review it by early next week.
  • We had a joint meeting with the QI committee and Mark Schau from the DA’s Office regarding notifying law enforcement for every overdose. Asked for feedback from the AAP who contacted their attorney and sent us some information. My concerns are correct we cannot do that.
    • Discussion that the call center notifies law enforcement if they suspect anything but unfortunately EMS cannot do that as it violates HIPPA.

Law and Legislative Committee – Jim Carstater

  • Ongoing issues with the budget, main concern is regarding gaming money that flows into Public Safety. No updates at this time.
    • The plan with the 911 money and VLAP are dead.
    • House rules committee added a tax code bill which would expand fireworks sales and taxation.
    • Legislative log jam – there has been 3,000 bills introduced and PA has only created 32 acts as of today.  That compares to 175 that were created last year.
    • Westmoreland County received a 4.3 million dollar safer grant for recruitment and retention.
    • There was a notice that came out that a decision pools are large enough without first responders being included. There is legislative effort to exempt first responders from jury pools.

Public Education – Cathy Hornick

  • There was an incident two weeks ago on Saturday night. There was an unauthorized march of 100 individuals, mostly males ages 17-22 around 11:00PM. They were organized and were not letting traffic through or allowing people to walk on the sidewalks. They had a leader with a megaphone and were about to attack a frat house before police showed up.  The neighborhood was very scared.
  • John Durlin stated that we continue to do around two public education events a month where a telecommunicator informs kids on when and how to call 9-1-1.

Old Business:

  • Reminder do not forget that the new equipment we are getting has a life expectancy and to budget appropriately.
  • The three year warranty for the radios does not begin until continued use.

Good of the Order:

  • John Grappy and Dale Robinson met with Jessica Horan-Kunco from the COG to discuss the steady decline of volunteers and it is affecting emergency services. Ten years ago there were over 300,000 firefighter volunteers and now it is under 50,000 in PA. We would like to establish a sub-committee to tackle this issue. This committee would be made up of emergency services and municipal officials to facilitate a discussion to look at the problem and come up with some solutions.

Adjourned: Meeting adjourned at 2:43PM.

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