KINGSTON – Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan detailed a proposal of the Ulster County Executive Budget to construct a state-of-the-art emergency management and government operations facility that centralizes critical functions from across County government in a hardened and energy self-sufficient structure. The proposal includes comprehensive full phase design of a new Ulster County Public Safety Communications Center to include the Ulster County Emergency Operations Center (EOC)/Government Operations Center (GOC), all the divisions of the Ulster County Department of Emergency Services, and the County’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
“Our Emergency Management team works tirelessly – through everything from hurricanes, to overdoses, to once-in-a-century pandemics – to keep our residents safe. I am very proud that we are finally investing to build a facility that respects the tremendous work that they do to serve the people of Ulster County,” said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan. “An expanded, state-of-the-art Emergency Management Center will help keep our community safe and ensure we deliver the best possible support to our residents at their moment of greatest need.”
“Emergency Management are the ones that tie all of law enforcement together in emergency situations,” said Ulster County Sheriff Juan Figueroa. “I am looking forward to seeing the new Ulster County Public Safety Communications Center and working with them to keep the residents of Ulster County safe.”
“911 is literally central to our being better responders to physical and mental health emergencies,” said Legislator and Chairwoman of Law Enforcement & Public Safety Committee Eve Walter. “This expansion is an important part of our county’s commitment to providing quality care to these at-risk populations.”
“They are all too often overlooked, but Emergency Services Dispatchers play a critical role in the Emergency Response System. They’re the voice you hear when you’re at your most vulnerable. A dispatcher’s quick thinking, and swift actions, can mean the difference between life and death,” said Ulster County Legislator John Gavaris. “However, they must have the necessary tools and appropriate space to perform at their best. I look forward to seeing a new Emergency Services Center that is, quite frankly, long overdue.”
“Today is a major step forward in having an Emergency Management and Government Operations Center that both meets the needs of our residents but also acknowledges the hard work of our first-responders,” said Director of Emergency Services Everett Erickson. “I thank Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan for his support on this project. His leadership in ensuring the project moves forward has been instrumental in bringing us to this day.”
One of County Executive Ryan’s Big Five Priorities is Responsive and Responsible Government, and the Emergency Operations Center/Government Operations Center will promote a culture of interdepartmental coordination. One of the first initiatives of the Center will be the Service Navigator program, an evolution of the COVID-19 Hotline/Ulster County Recovery Service Center (RSC), which has been in operation for over 600 days, taking over 91,000 calls which resulted in approximately 29,000 County service requests, mostly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Service Navigator program will simultaneously provide a front door to County government services, and cross-training and upskilling for County employees.
The first phase of the Government Operations Center in 2022 will be site selection, community engagement, and space programming. The second phase in 2023 will be architectural engineering, design and construction of the facility. Upon completion, the Government Operations Center will serve as a command center for County departments to coordinate government response to constituents’ most critical needs.