Public Safety Advisory Committee
General Committee, November 8, 2017
Meeting Minutes

 The Public Safety’s Advisory Committee’s General Committee met on November 8, 2017 at the Erie County Department of Public Safety (ECDOPS) building at 2880 Flower Road. The meeting was called to order at 2:01 PM by the Advisory Committee’s Chair, James Rosenbaum.

Member’s in Attendance: James Rosenbaum, Rich Shopene, Dale Robinson, Jim Carstater, Joe Walko, John Kelly, John Yatsko, Kale Asp, Charlie Heffner, John Durlin, Todd Steele, John Grappy and Keerinique Valencic.

Approval of Minutes: Minutes from the Executive Committee meeting held on 10/12/17 were approved with no corrections.

Public Safety and Subcommittee Reports:

EMA Report - Dale Robinson

  • Still ongoing issues due to the tornado on Sunday, especially in Millcreek. Brian is out with some representatives from Team Rubicon; which is a volunteer organization active in disasters.
    • Most of the flooding was in the City and North East. Nothing major to where we would be talking disaster declarations.
    • Hazard Mitigation Plan was submitted to PEMA who forwarded it to FEMA for approval. We are currently waiting to see if it will be approved or if corrections need made.
    • Rail Safety Plan exercise in Girard went very well. We plan to do an exercise in Fairview and Millcreek next after the first of the year.
    • Training calendar for 2018 should be coming out shortly.
    • Tabletop exercise done in Corry which went very well.

Director’s Report – John Grappy

  • 2018 budget proposal was presented to County Council. All indications seem that it will be passed. The budget vote will be 11/14/17 at 5:00PM.
  • Still waiting for our official letter from PEMA (Act 12) regarding our regional projects. All indications from PEMA appear that all of our requests have been approved.
  • Next Generation Radio System
    • Training for our radio division and basic user training has been completed.
    • A letter has been sent to each agency confirming the number of radios they will be receiving as well as specific install information. We have only received half of them back. We will be reaching out to ensure we get the other departments information.
    • Nokia Contract was received today and will be sent down to the County Executive for her signature. We will then move forward with the procurement and install of the microwave system at the 9 existing tower sites.
    • The contract has been awarded for the tower steel and equipment shelters. The generator bid is out on the street right now and the bid opening is early next week. We will compile all the information to incorporate into the construction RFP (bid) which will hopefully be sent out in mid-November.
    • The factory acceptance test for the system infrastructure will be the week of January 15th in Texas. Once we have signed off, the system components will be crated and shipped to Erie.
    • Plan is that the system will be installed by late spring. We will be transitioning users over in June with completion in September.
    • Consolidation of dispatch services: North East Borough has given one year’s notice to East County.  A representative of North East Township has indicated that they are following, providing notice to East County.  We just had a meeting with Joe Peck regarding the future of East County Communications Center. They can operate independently; however, associated costs related to the NG Radio System were provided for their consideration.  Erie County will not consider providing additional dispatch services until January 2019. We will support whatever decision they will make moving forward.
    • The Governor has opted into the PA FirstNet national broadband network. There are still questions on what costs will be associated for this service.
    • We spent the day with the National Weather Service on Monday. What we heard was that this was the perfect storm; high pressure and low pressure came together and the rain was so heavy you would not have been able to see the tornado even in the light of day.
      • It was on the ground for approx. 2.5 miles, just south of West 26th Street moving in a SE direction towards the City of Erie.
      • As far as the staff & first responders – everyone did a phenomenal job. Normally, on average, our staff handles 459 calls in a 24 hour period.  On Sunday, we handled 489 calls in a 4 hour period.  373 calls were active incidents that were dispatched.
        • Mr. Durlin explained that the first calls were regarding the damage from the tornado and then it progressively got worse with the rain.
        • Discussion about making adjustments for CAD so the calls could be grouped better during a storm.
  • Mr. Rosenbaum stated that we should consider expanding our incident command in the future. Trying to be a single incident command in a situation like this is not doable.

Communications Committee – Charlie Heffner

  • Reminding the agencies to give the surveys back to Mobilcom so they can be prepared when they install the radios.

Emergency Medical Services Committee – Todd Steele

  • All of the revisions have been made to the MCI Plan however; we are now correcting some formatting issues. Should have a copy by the next meeting.

Law and Legislative Committee – Jim Carstater

  • Supported moving the exemption from Senate Bill 242 dealing with an amendment that would exempt gathering lines from wells.
  • Budget is finally resolved. School spending was allowed to become law without a signature.
  • Received email from Jessica regarding the recruitment and retention issue. She has sent out the guidelines for the Act 172 Municipal Plan. Also, sent her some information for the Safer Grant. She is very interested in working with the COG and this committee to discuss this issue.
  • I sent out an email regarding House Bill 1909; which is the legislative fix for the worker’s comp issue.
  • The state has now passed 54 pieces of legislation this year.

Fire Services Committee – Assistant Chief Joe Walko

  • Nothing to report.

Law Enforcement Committee – John Grappy

  • As we move forward with the regional CAD system, we are finalizing the proposal for record management. We have met with Buck Mims from Tyler Technologies this week. The ultimate goal is that we use one record management system for the entire county. However, the majority of the county has Visual/Metro Alert. If these agencies are not interested, they can see how the system works for the City of Erie and make a decision at a later date.  If they choose not to transition to the new RMS system, we may invest in a two way interface between systems.

Public Education Committee – Jim Rosenbaum

  • Cathy advised that they are currently working on a list of schools, principals and email addresses so that they can contact more schools for future public education outreach.
  • John Durlin states we typically have two public outreach events each month that we attend.

Old Business: None

New Business: None

Good of the Order: None

Adjourned: Meeting adjourned at 2:59PM.


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