State Senator Judy Ward (R-30) and Representative Jesse Topper (R-Bedford/Franklin/Fulton) today announced that the Fulton County 9-1-1 Center will receive a $1.5 million state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant.
The Fulton County 9-1-1 Project involves the replacement of the county’s inadequate legacy radio system with an ultra-high frequency (UHF) Project 25 (P25) digital radio system.
“This RACP funding will allow Fulton County to replace all existing radios, including the remote tower site radios, mobile radios in fire trucks, ambulances, and law enforcement vehicles, and the first responders’ portable radios and pagers”, said State Senator Judy Ward. “This new system will serve fire, EMS, and law enforcement, creating interoperability among these first responders within the county, as well as allowing communication with surrounding counties operating similar UHF systems. There is no greater responsibility of our government than to protect its citizens. The investment of RACP funding to upgrade this system will improve public safety and emergency response for the residents of Fulton County.”
Fulton County, due to its location on the eastern edge of the Allegheny Mountains and numerous ridges and valley, faces difficult radio communication challenges. Several very busy highway routes carrying major truck traffic, including I-70 and I-76 and state routes 30, 522, 655, and 475, provide a major interconnection with Breezewood just to the west of the county line, making emergency services especially critical.
“No one ever wants to be in the situation when a call to 911 is needed. But when they make that call for help, it is vitally important that our first responders have the tools needed to promptly aid those in need,” Representative Topper said. “This funding helps ensure lines of communication that police, fire and EMS officials rely on daily will be open when needed most. This grant truly helps all residents of Fulton County and I applaud this sound investment in our community.”
The county has contracted with Cumberland County since the mid-1990s to handle its 9-1-1 dispatching services. However, the county is partnering with Bedford, Blair and Huntingdon Counties on a more efficient regional 9-1-1 project in which they will share a 9-1-1 telephone system and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system that will enable the seamless transfer of callers between counties.
RACP is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Governor’s Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic and community development improvement projects. The program requires a dollar for dollar match in non-state funding in the project and all project related expenses must be incurred and satisfied in advance of approved reimbursements from the state.