Funding For New Emergency Response System

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Dutchess County Legislature unanimously approved Resolution No. 2023139 which authorizes the issuance of over $18 million in serial bonds to pay for a portion of the cost of a new two-way radio communications system. The Legislature previously approved a resolution authorizing the use of American Rescue Plan (ARP) Funds to be directed toward this project in February of 2022 in order to begin Phase 1.

The proposed project will replace outdated and uncoordinated two-way radios systems that are utilized by various emergency response services throughout Dutchess County and will provide a shared system for all agencies to participate in. The Department of Emergency Response is currently in the process of developing radio tower sites, ordering the infrastructure, which includes generators and shelters, and is planning the purchase of the radio towers.

“As a member of the Pine Plains Fire Department for over 30 years and a former Rescue Squad Captain, I am confident that this investment will increase communication abilities for emergency response personnel all across Dutchess County, especially in our rural communities,” said Chairman Gregg Pulver. “The replacement of the current outdated system is long overdue, and the creation of a radio-system that will allow all agencies, like law enforcement, highway departments, and fire departments, to communicate with each other will be a game changer when responding to emergencies.”

“Dutchess County’s investment in emergency response and communication is second-to-none, and this new two-way radio system will increase public safety exponentially,” said Legislator Edward Hauser. “Our more rural communities often have ‘dead-zones’ or areas with limited service, often making it harder to communicate when emergencies arise and limiting the ability to get in touch with other agencies to share updates. With this new system and towers, Dutchess County is ensuring that all municipalities will be able to communicate and respond to emergencies more effectively.”

Dutchess County had previously been awarded $558,267 from the New York State Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant, and $760,000 from the Civil Defense Homeland Security. The Department of Emergency Response is actively looking for other grant opportunities to help offset the total cost, including grants offered from the Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications.

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