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County Receives $220K 9-1-1 Consolidation Grant
Release Date: August 28, 2008


The Freeholder appointed Sussex County Telecommunications Working Group (TWG), a group of police, fire, EMS, emergency telecommunications and municipal officials from around Sussex County, will soon be able to hire a project manager to facilitate discussion of a plan to reduce the number of 9-1-1 centers in Sussex County from the current six to two. The project is entitled "PSAP* Consolidation to Regionalization Project" and will be funded through a recently awarded $220,000 grant from the New Jersey Office of Emergency Telecommunications Services (OETS).

The aim for consolidation is to provide for an increase in the effectiveness of public safety communications while providing greater efficiency.

TWG Chairman John Drake, a retired Embarq telephone company manager with decades of communications experience, has indicated that the TWG along with the project manager will be conducting an in-depth analysis of the consolidation of the current six PSAP configuration to a two PSAP configuration.

Sparta Township received a similar grant this spring and will now move forward in concert with the TWG on which they have representation. It is envisioned that the two regional units will be operated under the same management umbrella and will be able to provide redundancy to each other.

Keith Armstrong, Sussex County Coordinator of Shared Services, has been reaching out to all municipalities with regard to the plans to consolidate and County 9-1-1 Director Eskil Danielson has been a part of the New Jersey Public Safety Interoperable Communications Group that has about $30 million in federal funds to build a statewide communications 'backbone' that counties can access via equipment eventually supplied through the federal grant.

This latest round of discussion is the continuation of a process begun several years ago when the Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, at the request of the vast majority of municipal governing bodies agreed to pursue and coordinate the discussion of 9-1-1 consolidation.

* Public Safety Answering Point

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