Public Safety Advisory Committee

Executive Committee, July 13, 2016

Meeting Minutes



The Public Safety Advisory Committee’s Executive Committee met on July 13, 2016, in the Erie County Department of Public Safety (ECDOPS) building at 2880 Flower Road.  The meeting was called to order at 2:00 pm by the Advisory Committee’s Chair, James Rosenbaum.


Members In Attendance: James Rosenbaum, Richard Stebell, Bill Hagerty, Jim Carstater, Cathy Hornick, Mike Tesore, Jeff Hawryliw, Charlie Heffner, Andrew Jarvi, Dale Robinson, Brian Mesaros & John Grappy.


Opening Comments


Approval of Minutes: Minutes from the General Committee meeting (5/11/16) were approved with no corrections. 


Director of Public Safety


Director’s Report – John Grappy.

  • Currently, there are two vacancies on the public safety advisory committee.  1) Karen Molitor, ECAB (no longer an elected official); 2) Bill Heald, LEMC (retirement).  Recommendations will be provided to the County Executive for appointment, and confirmed by County Council at a future meeting.
  • Nicole Fuller accepted a new position at Edinboro University in their finance / procurement department.   Nicole's last day of employment with the County of Erie was Friday, July 1, 2016. 
  • Act 12-2015 Interim Funding Formula will be extended for an additional year through the end of 2017.  Erie County will receive approximately $5.1 M in revenue from the fund.  In comparison from the former legislation to the new legislation, Erie County is receiving additional revenue – approx. $2 M to fund the 9-1-1 Program.
    • Interim Formula: 83% disbursed to counties; 15% Interconnectivity / Regional Projects; 2% Administrative Fee (PEMA).
    • Act 12-2015 15% Interconnectivity / Regional Projects.  The Northern Tier Consortium contracted with MCM Consulting Group and submitted an application for regional projects on July 10, 2016.  Projects approved receive 100% funding from PEMA.  Award notification by September 2016.
      • Voice Logging Recorder(s)
      • Telephony (9-1-1 switch) maintenance and fiber / telco costs
      • Activity Viewer (monitors 9-1-1 telephony system status in real time)
      • Two additional sentinel positions for 9-1-1 backup center (Emergycare)
      • Next funding cycle (2017), exploring a regional CAD project between all ten (10) counties, replacement of legacy CAD system(s) in our region.



  • Finalization of pay plan / schedule matrix for 24/7 telecommunications staff (8 hours vs. 12 hours vs. average salary or pay, based on the 12 third class counties in the Commonwealth (average starting salary is $14.98/ hr).  On Monday, meeting was held with human resources to compare the county pay plan study (Felese). Other consideration is to create four classifications of Telecommunicator, based on skill level and certification such as Telecommunicator trainee, Telecommunicator I, Telecommunicator II and Telecommunicator III with different rates of pay.

Next step: Review final report with options with County Executive.

  • Re-establishment of our Per Diem (Temporary Staff) Program
    • Reduction of overtime (mandations), retention of experience & skill level
    • Former employees (experienced, certified)
    • Approved by County Council on June 28, 2016
    • Next Generation Public Safety Radio System Project: The evaluation / selection committee has reviewed four vendor proposals (Airbus DS, EF Johnson, Harris & Motorola) and provided a recommendation to the County Executive for contract award.  During the week of July 5th – 8th members from MCM & Public Safety conducted county site visits in two different states.  Based on the site visits (references), we have begun contract negotiations with the proposed vendor – to be completed by the end of July 2016.  Public meeting to be announced immediately after contract award. 
    • CAD Virtualization (Cutover date June 20, 2016).  The project management team continues to work with Caliber to resolve action (punch) items.  The hardware replacement will result in a more reliable, stable platform.
    • Law Enforcement Dispatch Protocol System – in progress. Meeting with county / city law enforcement agencies dispatched by ECDoPS to review event codes, determine response recommendations and define emergency service zones.  Implementation by the Fall 2016.
    • Law Record Management System (Demo held on May 4, 2016. Awaiting statement of work and budgetary estimate to upgrade current software to latest software release for Erie Police.


Public Safety, Emergency Management- Dale Robinson

  • Commodity Flow Study
    • Determine type and quantity of hazardous materials / substances traveling through Erie County by rail and interstate highways
    • Contract Award – RFP for professional services (Approved HMEP Grant)
    • MCM Consulting Group (to be completed by July 31, 2016)
    • Hazard Mitigation Plan (hazard mitigation planning enables action to reduce loss of life and property, lessening the impact of disasters)
      • Pending contract Award – RFP for professional services (Approved HMEP Grant)
      • Notice of Federal Grant Award – up to 75 % ($38,250, project total: $51,000)
      • Four potential vendors (costs range: $25 K – $50 K)
      • Current plan expires on June 2017 (Collaboration with Planning Dept.)



  • Rail Safety Plan (In progress, meeting being held with local municipal officials / public safety community) Planning meeting with local municipalities
    • Harborcreek, Lawrence Park and Wesleyville
      • July 6, 2016 – 7 PM – 9 PM
  • City of Erie – to be scheduled
  • Draft plan by end of 2016
  • Spill response trailers (Five trailers, including absorbent material to be strategically located throughout Erie County)
    • Pending release of RFP (awaiting signed grant agreement)
    • EPA / DEP Grant - USEPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
    • Notice of Federal Grant Award – $37,488.40 (No matching funds required)
    • Recertification of HAZMAT Team (In progress) –
      • Recertification for four years, as of April 2016
      • Remodeling the Planning Room, based on all-hazards unit leader course.
        • Topographical map
        • White, magnetic board
        • COW (Cell on Wheels) – Mobile communications trailer
          • Recent transfer of ownership to Millcreek Township
          • Discussed / reviewed equipment & resources for Erie County and our region
            • Multi-frequencies (lo-band, VHF, UHF, 800 MHz, Amateur radio)
            • Microwave
            • Camera
            • WIFI
  • Resource request through Erie County Dispatch / Emergency Management
    • Planned events, exercises, etc.
  • Original plan was to establish a special team of telcommunications and technical staff to be deployed with mobile communications trailer.
  • Chairman Rosenbaum brought up for discussion the Amateur Radio Operators / RACES group.  Enhancement of equipment, request to install a 40 meter antenna.  Better coordination or communications between ECDoPS and Amateur Radio Operators / RACES group???

Subcommittee Reports:

Law and Legislative Affairs Committee -   Jim Carstater, Committee Chair.

  • Please see attached report.
  • Discussion of Act 12-2015.  9-1-1 Advisory Board appointments by PEMA / Governor; future advisory committee meetings, held quarterly at PEMA; and the interim funding formula.




  • Discussion on Intrastate Mutual Aid Agreement passed in 2008.  PEMA was to establish standards, in conjunction with committee.  Dale inquired as to progress made on setting standards; right to know request was filed on behalf of Erie County (EMA).
  • PEMA has eliminated funding for programs such as CERT (cost for instructors, equipment) and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams.  Programs to be funded locally – county budget. 
  • Elimination of funding for “G Series” courses (training).  Only programs to be paid for are related to certification(s) training.
  • As of this afternoon, an amendment to the fiscal code includes a $9 M transfer from the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (VLAP) to the general fund.


Law Enforcement and Records Committee – Chief Mike Tesore, Committee Chair

  • No Report!


Fire Services Committee

  • With the retirement of Chief Pol, recommendation will be provided to the County Executive for the appointment of Chief Guy Santone and confirmed by County Council at a future meeting.

Emergency Medical Services Committee – Bill Hagerty, Committee Chair

  • Currently working on the Erie County MCI Plan.  Split into 3 sections. The first & second sections have been completed.  The third section is hold due to Caleb Dixson accepting a new position at Millcreek Township.  Caleb will begin working on section 3 in the next couple of weeks (google share program).


Emergency Management Services Committee

  • With the retirement of Bill Heald, recommendation will be provided to the County Executive for appointment and confirmed by County Council at a future meeting.
  • Introduction of new West County Local Emergency Management Coordinator Andrew Jarvi.


Public Education Committee – Cathy Hornick, Committee Chair

  • Upcoming “National Night Out” event – over 1000 people expected to attend the event in Gridley Park.  Numerous events taking place throughout Erie County.
  • Discussion on Zika Virus.  Cathy had discussion with Doctoral student, concerned about transference.  At this point in time, two mosquitos carry the virus.  County health departments, CDC, etc. are actively monitoring this virus.
  • Upcoming IED Training to be held at Edinboro University on July 20, 2016; training sponsored by Department of Homeland Security.
  • 9-1-1 Public Education – What to expect when you call 9-1-1?  Department of Public Safety website has detailed description of call processing policy / procedure when calling 9-1-1.  In addition, when staff is available, attends community fairs and events to educate the public.  Director Grappy will provide the contact information for Caitlin Handerhan, Public Affairs Officer for the County Executive, to coordinate public outreach initiatives through public service announcements, social media outlets, etc.


Communications Committee – Jeff Hawryliw, Committee Chair

  • EMS QI committee and the Communications committee are working on updating the “I Am Responding” policy as it relates to the County EMS Response Plan.  Reviewed current policy with proposed changes.  Proposed changes are in alignment with Erie County EMS Response Plan.
  • Discussion on finalizing new policy / procedure. 
    • Jeff Hawryliw and Charlie Heffner to work with Kale Asp and John Durlin to make changes to current policy / procedure; present revised policy / procedure to EMS QI committee for review at their next meeting.
    • Host regional meeting(s) to review Erie County EMS Response Plan and I Am Responding policy / procedure with user (EMS) agencies.
    • Discussion on current 3+6+8 rule for priority 1 incidents; immediate response required.  Revisit this section; consider reduction of current rule to reduce response times on priority 1 incidents.  Consideration should be given between priority 1 versus priority 2 incidents.
    • To date, approx. 30% of EMS agencies have not opted-in (Erie County EMS Response Plan).
      • The next EMS QI committee meeting is scheduled on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 3 PM.


Old Business: None


New Business: None


Good of the Order: None


Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 3:02 p.m.



**Next “General” Membership Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM at the Erie County Department of Public Safety, 2880 Flower Road, Erie, PA  16509. **

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