Public safety committee discusses grants and ambulance service

Nov. 7 – The Delaware County Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee discussed grants, software, and ambulance services at its meeting on Monday, Nov. 7.

Director of Emergency Services Steve Hood and Deputy Director Margaret Wilson spoke about the grants the department received, the software upgrade and the start of fee-based ambulance service with American Medical Response.

The county received a $152,921 state grant for Public Safety Response Point Operations to help pay for equipment or maintenance; a $1.2 million grant to Homeland Security and State Emergency Services for Statewide Interoperable Communications to help pay for P25-compliant interoperable equipment; a $23,092 state grant for emergency management performance and an $85,356 state grant for the purchase of computer-aided dispatch equipment.

Hood said the department will use the grant as a down payment for a new software system that will be shared by emergency services and sheriff’s departments. The new software would notify emergency first responders if a person had been arrested, as well as the person’s background.

“It’s pretty standard,” Hood said of the software.

The $23,092 grant will allow the department to install security cameras on all communications towers it owns, Hood said.

The grants will be voted on at the Supervisory Board meeting on Wednesday, November 9.

During the meeting, Hood said he held conference calls with AMR representatives to discuss implementing a countywide ambulance service. He said the ambulances had received a letter saying they were destined for Delaware County and the company was ready to start Dec. 1. Corner station.

Committee Chairman and Andes City Supervisor Wayland “Bud” Gladstone asked if the committee could receive a monthly report with the number of calls the company answered, where service is lacking, and the percentage of missed calls.

Gladstone also asked, “When you deactivate Bovina, will AMR receive the call at the same time?”

Hood said, “Some services have simultaneous mutual aid and are automatically disabled on the first call. Other services have 10 minutes to respond before mutual aid is called.”

Allen Hinkley, committee member and overseer of the town of Roxbury, asked if mutual aid was decided by each department, and Hood replied “Yes”.

Hood said his department will meet with all EMS volunteer departments at an EMS advisory board meeting on Wednesday to discuss the new service and their concerns.

Hinkley asked if any of the ambulances would be stationed in Stamford, as that village has no ambulance service, has two adult homes and is halfway between Pindars Corners and Roxbury.

Wilson said she mapped the distance between each ambulance and different locations, including schools. For example, she used the old Kellogg School in Treadwell and found it would be 18 minutes from Pindars Corners and 15 minutes from Hamden.

Also during the meeting, Sheriff Craig DuMond announced that Dr. Baburao N. Samudrala was retiring after 40 years of service at the county jail. He said the department was looking for a replacement.

Vicky Klukkert, editor, can be reached at [email protected] or 607-441-7221.