Public Safety Advisory Committee’s

Executive Committee, October 14, 2015

Meeting Minutes



The Public Safety Advisory Committee’s Executive Committee met on October 14, 2015, in 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 Chairperson Jim Rosenbaum.


Members In Attendance: Bill Hagerty, Jim Carstater, John R. Grappy, Joe Walko, Dale Robinson, Abdul Osman, Richard Stebell, Jim Rosenbaum, Brian Mesaros, Jeff Hawryliw, Nicole Fuller


Opening Comments:  Call to order – 1 PM. 


No Agenda – Review of Progress of Subcommittees.


Approval of Minutes: Minutes from the Executive Committee meeting were approved with no corrections.  Motion to except minutes by Jim Rosenbaum and seconded by Jim Carstater. All in favor. 


Director of Public Safety and Subcommittee Reports:


Director of Public Safety – John R. Grappy

  • Budget proposal has been submitted to administration and was approved by the County Executive and then introduced it too County Council.  This budget was approx. $7million an increase of $100,000 from last year.  Public Safety had a program report done by a professional services consultant and submitted for 1 new EMA position.  Public outreach, training exercise coordinator $30,000/yr. plus benefits.  Also, the County Hazard Mitigation Plan expires in 2017; we budgeted for professional services based on a budgetary quote.  A grant was applied for, that would cover 75% of it, but we budgeted for the whole amount.
  • New Public Safety Website – up and running.
  • Public Safety Facebook page – up and running.
  • County Executive, Director Grappy and Jim Rosenbaum – Friday, September 25, 2015, Talk Radio 1400 interview regarding history of Public Safety, Initial Consolidation, Problem with equipment, Open House and Dispatch Errors.  People called in with questions.  One caller brought up caller interrogations (why we ask so many questions when calling 911). 
  • Open House – September 26, 2015.  CERT, Emergycare, Lake City, Erie PD, Swat Team, etc. attended with apparatuses. Attendance was down a little from last year.
  • Wills for Heroes – September 26, 2015.  The Erie County Bar Association did wills for over 60 families.  We will offer to host this again next year.
  • Dispatch – working with Administration to change Dispatch from 8 hours shifts to 12 hour shifts.  The County Executive and the new HR Director are very interested in doing this.  Over half the staff is interested in this and there will have to be union concessions because of contract.  This will be good for a better quality of life and better retention of staff in the future.  Administration signed a contract with an independent firm that was hired to study the pay matrix County wide to conduct a review and submit a report.  No timeline set as of yet.
  • Filled 8 telecommunicator positions – all successful and have progressed to on the job training phase.  We currently have 44 employed with 2 vacancies, 46 is full staff. 
  • NGR System – FCC licensing continues, land search for future development of communication towers, and in final stage of the development of the request for proposal to place this out for bid in early November.  On September 9th we had 3 regional meetings to determine operational technical requirements.  These meetings were very well attended and all feedback was incorporated into the request for proposal.  This document was reviewed by Public Safety and they are currently making revisions with MCM Consulting.  The bid should be awarded on or before March of 2016.  There was at one time, 7 zones, this has been reduced to 5 based on technical requirements.  28 sites were identified by the land search, 28 sites are not needed.   These sites will become a part of the request for proposal based on the bidder to use any of these sites for propagation studies. 
  • Text-to-911 – will be implemented in approximately 30 days.  3 of 4 have been tested successfully.  The last carrier is working on implementation currently.
  • EMA – Dale is currently working on Crude Oil Plan.
  • IT – Abdul is currently working on CAD Virtualization, working on a fully redundant back-up center.  Hardware is here for CAD and the CAD is going out for request for proposal.
  • Commodity Flow – While in Atlanta at the CSX training facility, Brian Mesaros, along with emergency managers of 181 counties that CSX crosses through and how many crude rail shipments go through those counties.  In 2015, 83,000 hazardous material car loads coming through Erie County, 59% of them are crude and 17% are ethanol.  They are expecting Crude to drop in the next couple years because prices of oil are going down.  This is a fluctuating market because of price of oil.   


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

  • The PA budget remains unresolved.  The legislature voted, again, to reject the Governor’s proposal last week.
  • Title 35 – Legislature is intent on starting the process over again.  Don Konkle of PFESI asked to submit our comments on the matter, prior to a hearing in Pittsburg on 9/3.  Jim and Dales comments were submitted and were shared with the committee.
  • Oil Train Safety – The County is in the process of developing a plan.  Brian Mesaros has reached out to municipal LEMC’s requesting information for the plan development, and is waiting replies from some of them. 
  • HB62 – Relative to grants, passed the house and is in the senate.
  • HB1310 – Regarding the protection of information from 9-1-1 calls has passed the house and is in the senate.
  • HB677 – Regarding the Hazmat planning was re-reported to the Rules committee in the house on 9/21.  Currently on the table.
  • HB138 – Regarding solicitations by first responder organizations passed the house and is in the senate.
  • Building Codes – There is consensus that the current process is unworkable, and letters have been circulating by a number of statewide and professional organizations to revamp the process, prior to addressing the content of the codes.  The process has to be fixed before issues such as sprinklers can be addressed.
  • Government Dinner – Previously reported for February 12th and Erie Maennerchor.  Bill Jenaway is unable to attend and is scheduled to be out of the state on business.  PA Fire Commissioner ED Mann was asked and has tentatively agreed to be the speaker.  The focus is on recruitment and retention issues from a community rather than the agency perspective.  The committee has a planning lunch scheduled for next Wednesday 10/21.
  • Lobbying – The FASP held their annual meeting last month in Lake Harmony and renewed the contract of Tracy Wingenroth of ERG Partners in Harrisburg to continue as the lobbyist for the FASP.  Don Konkle, Executive Director of the PFESI remains chair of the FASP Law & Legislation Committee, working with Tracy on an almost daily basis.
  • State Wide Advisory Board – The next SWAB meeting will be held in conjunction with the PFESI annual Meeting in Harrisburg on 11/20 – 11/21/15.  Jim Carstater and Dave Duberow (subcomm member) are planning on attending.


Law Enforcement and Records Committee – Mike Tesore, Committee Chair 

  • Looking at 3 different Vendors for Law Dispatch Protocol Systems (APCO, Priority Dispatch and PowerPhone).  APCO was eliminated and is now between Priority Dispatch and PowerPhone.  There have been 2 presentations from the last 2 vendors.  The committee will make a recommendation, we will move forward with RPF process and procurement.  All law is on board with a new dispatch protocol system.


Fire Services Committee – Chief Tony Pol, Committee Chair 

  • Committee is concentrating on County wide training and to have a level standard for everyone.  Concentrating on command staff with certain ICS classes. 


Emergency Medical Services Committee – Bill Hagerty, Committee Chair 

  • Have had the 4th committee meeting.  Working on adding frequently asked questions section to the Draft County EMS plan as well as draft a letter to Erie County Agencies Chiefs and Presidents.  This has moved throughout the state as a summary review.  The letter has been finalized to be sent out and the FAQ’s have also been finalized.  Meetings have been set for different areas of the county. 
 Millcreek   10/15/15    Chiefs Meeting  
 East County 10/19/15  1900 - Fairfield
 West County  10/24/15  0900 - Platea
 Central County    11/05/15  1900 - McKean
 South County 11/08/15  0900 - Waterford


Some of the committee members will be presenting as well as having a PowerPoint presentation that the committee reviewed and approved.  They will have the plans submitted to them and ask volunteers for feedback and give a deadline of when to get back to the committee.  The plan is to have the plan submitted to the state for formal review around December or January.  After submitted the state gets 45 days to review the plan.  The goal is to have the plan formulized and in place by March 1, 2016.   


Emergency Management Services Committee – Bill Heald, Committee Chair 

  • Dale reported – The committee has had their first meeting, and Crude Oil Planning was brought up and also working on a new Title 35 and asking what the County would like to see. 


Public Education Committee – Cathy Hornick and Sue Sutto, Committee Co-Chairs 

  • Nicole reported – The committee needs a little bit of direction on what project to start working on and figuring out what their focus should be. 


Communications Committee – Jeff Hawryliw, Committee Chair 

  • Planning on having first meeting in November.  Have added new member, George Thomas, from Emergycare to committee.  Still working on getting adequate representation from West and South County, not very many people had responded to the email about joining.  Jeff is requesting help, if anyone knows anyone in West or South Counties that would want to sit on the committee please let Jeff know.  Would like to meet with the Director to get copies of SOP’s and dispatching procedures for having half the group working on operations plans, iar’s and SOP’s so that they can be familiar.  Also, the other half working on radio procedures. 


Jim Rosenbaum is asking if the Sub-Committee Chairs or members of sub-committees, if you have any issue to let Jim or John know.  They will meet with the Sub-Committee chairs to acknowledge helping to focus on a particular goal and possibly use any ideas that Chairs and Committee members might have to give the Sub-Committees a little more direction and possibly come up with some ideas and help prioritize what you think they are the best at doing. 


Old Business:  None


New Business: The November 11th meeting was originally scheduled on Veterans Day.  We are changing the November General Meeting to Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 3:30PM.


Good of the Order: John Grappy mentioned that on the new Public Safety Website there is an interactive calendar.   The plan is better coordination with classes going on throughout the County and to have not only Public Safety trainings but to have training classes throughout the County on the calendar including maps and registration links.


Dale Robinson mentioned that for 2016 he is trying to get 2 ICS position specific classes held at ECDOPS.  One would be the Supplies Unit Leader (4 day) course and the second is Situation Unit Leader (5 day) course.  $7,500/per class.  Also, at the last Taskforce meeting, the plan is to help Perry Hi-Way build a specialized technical rescue training site.  This is a 5 year program and $250,000 and is currently in draft form using Regional Homeland Security funds.  EHP with FEMA is saying there is wild life and they might not be allowed to build there and could take 6 months to a year to get the ok.


General Meetings are open to all sub-committee members. 


Adjournment: Motion to adjourn made by Jeff Hawryliw seconded by Bill Hagerty. All in favor, meeting adjourned at 2:56 p.m.

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