BY MICHAEL RICONDA
Pomona – Leaders with Rockland County’s law enforcement and emergency services joined public officials and others on December 20 to dedicate the county’s new emergency dispatch 911 center, a complex designed to centralize and enhance communications for first responders.
The $7.9 million center-which is part of a $30 million radio system-covers 9,000 square feet at the county’s FireTraining Center in Pomona and hosts 16 emergency dispatch stations. It will serve all police, EMS and volunteer fire stations with an interoperable radio system allowing greater communication between emergency personnel across the county.
The core of the complex is an $8 million radio room with two stations designated as backups for town or village police departments should they have to move operations for whichever reason.
County Executive-elect Ed Day explained that as a former first responder, he recognized the value and necessity of reliable communications in emergency situations.
“I, like a few in this room have had an emergency that they stayed at a radio, they hit a button and hoped there was communication,” Day said.
Also in attendance was current County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef, who made his last public speech before his last term in office ends in January. Vanderhoef referred to the project’s completion as “one of [his] top achievements going forward.”
“The history, certainly in terms of tomorrow’s communication, begins today,” Vanderhoef said.
The station has been in planning stages for over a decade and was in development for about five years before its opening. At the present time, it is 75 percent operational and will be fully functional by 2014.