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April 14, 2022 - 8:17pm
posted by Press Release in 911 Center, Emergency Dispatch, news.
2director_steven_c_sharpe.jpg asst_director_francis_a_riccobono.jpg sr_dispatcher_michael_t_sheflin.jpg
Director Steven Sharpe Asst. Director Francis Riccobono Sr. Dispatcher Michael Sheflin
sr_dispatcher_john_w_spencer.jpg dispatcher_stephen_r_smelski.jpg dispatcher_samantha_l_conibear.jpg
Sr. Dispatcher John Spencer Stephen Smelski Samantha Conibear
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John Eddy Kelly Smith Cady Glor
moskal_-_emily.jpg turner_-_shelby_cropped.jpg grimes.jpg
Emily Moskal Shelby Turner Matthew Grimes

Press release:

In 1991, a formal Congressional resolution acknowledged the vital role that telecommunicators play in emergency situations by proclaiming the second week in April as a week of annual recognition in their honor.  National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week is a time to thank these men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving the public.  Last year, Governor Hochul signed a bill designating “first responder” status to all 911 operators and dispatchers across New York State, recognizing that they are the first responders of first responders.

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron, Jr., along with the Genesee County Legislature and all emergency first responders, recognize these public safety professionals for their continued dedication, professionalism, and commitment to public service.  The Genesee County Legislature will be issuing a proclamation at its Wednesday night meeting recognizing April 10 – 16, 2022, as National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week.  The lights on the Old County Courthouse cupola will be changed to red, white and blue to acknowledge this week. 

Emergency Services 9-1-1 Dispatchers are there 24/7, 365 days a year for police, fire and emergency medical personnel and the public in time of need.  Many people do not think about these seemingly nameless, faceless individuals until they experience actual emergencies themselves.  In many instances, Dispatchers make the difference between life and death.  Typically, over 80,000 events are dispatched yearly, a daily average of 219, and over 100,000 telephone calls are handled, which is an average of 273 calls per day.  The Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center (Public Safety Answering Point-PSAP) is comprised of 25 men and women who dispatch to 5 local police agencies/New York State Police; 19 fire departments/Emergency Management Service; 3 ambulance services; as well as 41 other local, county, regional, state, and federal agencies.

“Everyday citizens depend on the skill, expertise and commitment of the 9-1-1 Dispatchers.  They are the first to take that phone call; the first to provide basic life support in a medical emergency; and also the first to dispatch needed fire, police or EMS responders for the call.  They are to be recognized and commended during this very special week.  I would like to personally extend my sincere appreciation for their hard work and dedication.  They are truly unsung heroes in our community,” stated Sheriff Sheron.                                         

June 30, 2021 - 2:01pm

From Director Steven C. Sharpe of Genesee County Emergency Communications:

The landline 9-1-1 service degradation impacting service areas in Le Roy, Bergen and Pavilion has been resolved.

If anyone experiences issues dialing 9-1-1 from the affected areas, please contact the Director of Emergency Communications Steven C. Sharpe at (585) 345-3000, ext. 3400.

June 29, 2021 - 4:32pm

From Genesee County Emergency Communications Director Steven C. Sharpe:

The following telephone exchanges are experiencing audio problems when dialing 9-1-1 from a Frontier landline service:

  • (585) 768-XXXX (Le Roy Service Area): No audio
  • (585) 494-XXXX (Bergen Service Area): Distorted audio
  • (585) 584-XXXX (Pavilion Service Area): Distorted audio

If you have an emergency, we advise the public to call 9-1-1 from a wireless / cellular phone. We can still process wireless calls from these service areas.

If you do not have access to a wireless / cellular device, please contact the Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center at (585) 343-5000.

May 17, 2021 - 6:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ed Rath, Steve Hawley, 911 Center, news, video.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

Today, Senator Ed Rath called on the Department of Budget (DOB) to release critical funding grants for emergency services. Senator Rath was joined by Assemblyman Steve Hawley, Genesee County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein, Undersheriff Brad Mazur, Genesee County Director of Emergency Communications Steven Sharpe, members of the Genesee County Legislature and members of the 911 Advisory Board.

“The delay in the release of this funding for our communities is extremely damaging," Senator Rath said. "As ranking member on the Senate Local Government’s Committee, I know the extreme duress many of our counties are under as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the State to be delaying the release of this funding, with no end in sight, is completely unacceptable.

"We need to be working with our counties and local governments, not adding unnecessary burdens. Unfortunately, this seems to be all too typical for our State. I am calling on the Department of Budget to release these grants (2020-21) and inform our counties when they will be able to apply for the current fiscal year’s grants (2021-22)."

Assemblyman Hawley said: "Our heroes of healthcare have been working dutifully throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure emergency services were not overwhelmed or interrupted during the highly contested time. To see that our 9-1-1 services are now under threat of being underfunded is unacceptable, and the State needs to take immediate action to ensure that our emergency telecommunications are not stifled."

"County governments must work alongside the State to ensure the funding needs are met for these important emergency services," said Genesee County Legislator Gregg Torrey, Human Services chair. “I want to thank Senator Rath and Assemblyman Hawley for fighting to secure our fair share of critical 9-1-1 funding which is needed to support our County Public Safety operations."

Genesee County Legislator Gary Maha, Public Service chair, said: "We have been fighting this battle for years through the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, the New York State 911 Coordinators Association and the New York State Association of Counties. It is time the Governor stops using these funds for other purposes than 9-1-1 services."

"The delay in releasing already collected 9-1-1 surcharge revenue money could cost Genesee County over $500k in the 2021 budget," said L. Matthew Landers, Genesee County manager, budget officer. "While we have long been advocating that a greater share of the collected surcharge go to the intended recipients, namely emergency communications operations such as the Genesee County Dispatch Center, this recent delay in funding is unexplainable and undermines emergency communications operations across the State."

Emergency Communications Director Sharpe, of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, and NYS 911 Coordinators Legislative Committee chair, said: “Over the past year, our first responder community needed to address the pandemic while continuing to provide emergency services to the public.

"Our friends at the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications (DHSES/OIEC) have been excellent partners by assisting local communities setting up communications for testing sites, emergency clinics, and now mass vaccination sites. DHSES/OIEC also hosted teleconferences for local and county partners to discuss best practices during the pandemic.

"Unfortunately, the State of New York has not honored their commitments regarding grant funding. Counties provide a majority of public safety answering point (9-1-1 center) services throughout the State and also administer a majority of public safety communications systems. During this pandemic, the State has inexplicably halted and delayed grant funding despite the funding stream for those grants increasing during the pandemic. 

"We are asking our partners at the State to honor their words, obey the laws of the State of New York, execute the law in a timely manner, and release the grant funding that is now above a year overdue."

The State has yet to release the 2020-21 grant funding or the application information for 2021-22.

April 12, 2021 - 12:30pm

Press release:

In 1991, a formal Congressional resolution acknowledged the vital role that telecommunicators play in emergency situations by proclaiming the second week in April as a week of annual recognition in their honor.

National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week is a time to thank these men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving the public.

Genesee County Sheriff William A. Sheron Jr., along with the Genesee County Legislature and all emergency first responders, recognize these public safety professionals for their continued dedication, professionalism, and commitment to public service.

The Genesee County Legislature will be issuing a proclamation at its Wednesday night meeting recognizing April 11 – 17 as National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week. The lights on the Old County Courthouse cupola will be changed to red, white and blue to acknowledge this week.

Emergency Services 9-1-1 Dispatchers are there 24/7, 365 days a year for first responders and the public in time of need. Many people do not think about these seemingly nameless, faceless individuals until they experience actual emergencies themselves. In many instances, Dispatchers make the difference between life and death.

Typically, more than 80,000 events are dispatched yearly in Genesee County, a daily average of 219, and more than 100,000 telephone calls are handled, which is an average of 273 calls per day.

The Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center (Public Safety Answering Point-PSAP) is comprised of 25 men and women who dispatch to five local police agencies/New York State Police; 19 fire departments/Emergency Management Service; three ambulance services; as well as 41 other local, county, regional, state, and federal agencies.

“Everyday citizens depend onthe skill, expertise and commitment of the 9-1-1 dispatchers," said Sheriff Sheron. "They are the first to take that phone call; the first to provide basic life support in a medical emergency; and also the first to dispatch needed fire, police or EMS responders for the call.

They are to be recognized and commended during this very special week. I would like to personally extend my sincere appreciation for their hard work and dedication. They are truly unsung heroes in our community."

August 1, 2017 - 8:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 911 Center, Emergency Dispatch, news.

Non-emergency phone numbers for the 9-1-1 Center are currently not working.

You can still phone in an emergency by dialing 9-1-1, but if you're trying to reach a dispatcher, or Batavia PD, or Le Roy PD, or the Sheriff's Office, with a non-emergency call, the usual numbers are not working.

Batavia PD can be contacted for non-emergencies at (585) 345-6351.  The administrative lines are (585) 345-6444.

Le Roy PD and the Sheriff's Office can be reached at (585) 343-5000.

However, if you have an emergency, dial 9-1-1.

June 15, 2016 - 4:40pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center now offers text to 9-1-1 services. Below are a few guidelines for the use of text to 9-1-1.

  1. Call 9-1-1 when you can, text when you can’t.

    1. Calling 9-1-1 is always your best option as our dispatchers have a better chance of locating you and

      recording background noises or conversations that can be used as evidence if you are a victim of a crime.

    2. Text to 9-1-1 provides better access for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or may have trouble

      speaking especially in a mobile environment.

    3. Text to 9-1-1 is appropriate for victims whose hiding location may be revealed by speaking on the phone.

  2. How to text 9-1-1 in an emergency:

    1. Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field;

    2. The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of

      help needed;

    3. Push the “Send” button (if hiding, ensure phone and text alerts are silenced).

    4. Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.

    5. Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations or emoticons.

    6. Keep text messages brief and concise.

  3. Below are a few things to know if you need to text 9-1-1:

    1. Text location information is not equal to current location technology.

    2. As with all text messages, 9-1-1 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order or may not

      be received; this may significantly delay response times.

    3. Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.

    4. A text or data plan is required to place a text-to-9-1-1.

    5. If texting to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message

      indicating that texting 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by other means.

    6. Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.

    7. Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other

      than 9-1-1.

  4. Do not text and drive!

  5. Prank calling or texting 9-1-1 can be considered falsely reporting an incident or aggravated harassment; you may be arrested and prosecuted for abusing the 9-1-1 system.

  6. Additional information regarding text to 9-1-1 can be found at the Web address immediately below: http://www.nena.org/?page=textresources 

April 12, 2016 - 4:33pm

Press release:

In 1991, a formal Congressional resolution acknowledged the vital role that telecommunicators play in emergency situations by proclaiming the second week in April as a week of annual recognition in their honor. National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week is a time to thank these men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving the public.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office recognizes and commends the County’s 9-1-1 dispatchers for their dedication, professionalism and commitment to public service.

9-1-1 dispatchers are there 24/7,365 days a year for first responders and the public in time of need. Many people do not think about these seemingly nameless, faceless individuals until they experience actual emergencies themselves. In many instances, 9-1-1 dispatchers make the difference between life and death.

More than 82,000 events were dispatched in 2015, a daily average of 224, and 134,937 telephone calls were handled last year, which is an average of 369 calls per day. The Genesee County Emergency Dispatch Center (Public Safety Answering Point-PSAP) is comprised of 24 men and women who dispatch to five local police agencies/New York State Police; 19 fire departments/Emergency Management Service; three ambulance services; as well as 41 other local, county, state, regional, and federal agencies.

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office recognizes these public safety professionals who have worked so hard during this past year. Every day, citizens depend on the skill, expertise and commitment of the 9-1-1 dispatchers. They are the first to take that phone call; the first to provide basic life support in a medical emergency, and also the first to dispatch needed fire, police or EMS responders for the call. They are to be recognized and commended.

August 28, 2015 - 10:36am
posted by Howard B. Owens in emegency communications, emergency radios, 911 Center.

The state will provide Genesee County with another $3 million to help improve its year-old $11 million emergency radio communications system, built and provisioned by RF Harris, of Rochester.

The grant will be used to fund a seventh microwave tower for the county, most likely somewhere in Le Roy, which reportedly has had some of the biggest communications black holes since the new radio system was put online.

The grant will also be used to complete interoperability connections with Monroe and Orleans counties, said County Manager Jay Gsell.

Interoperability is one of the primary goals of the Department of Homeland Security in pushing local jurisdictions to go to all-digital, Phase II, systems. With all local jurisdictions on the same radio systems, it's expected that agencies will be able to more efficiently and effectively communicate with each other in mutual aid emergencies.

It's also hoped that the upgrade will provide better local communications in a system that has been plagued by emergency responder complaints since its inception, though tweaks and incremental improvements over the past year seems to have resulted in fewer complaints.

The bulk of the $11 million spent on the system so far came from state, federal and communication industry grants, with a municipal bond covering nearly half of the expense.

"This is part of helping us complete the process of putting the best radio system out there for all of our emergency radio system users, whether it's police departments, fire departments, state patrol, highway departments, anybody who is on our radio system," Gsell said. "We're trying to make sure that almost anywhere they go in the county, they're going to have very good, strong consistent communications with our 800-MHz radios."

The $3 million is part of $50 million being awarded to local jurisdictions for emergency communications. Both Monroe and Livingston counties are receiving $3.5 million. Erie County is getting $1.2 million. There was no grant money announced for Wyoming County.

Our news partner WBTA AM/FM conducted the interview with Jay Gsell.

February 18, 2015 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 911 Center.

Complaints from law enforcement and fire personnel about the new Harris radio system have gone way down over the past several months, Undersheriff Bill Sharon said, but there are still issues that need to be addressed.

To that end, the Public Service Committee is recommending the County Legislature approve a $41,000 contract with Pericle Communications Co., of Colorado Springs, Colo., to conduct a transmission interference study and make recommendations for improvements.

The aim of the study will be to identify what might exist in the county that causes interference with transmissions, either it's light bars on emergency vehicles or power plants, and recommend the best methods for eliminating those problems.

"As mentioned before, we didn't have the luxury of fully testing the system before we went live because of the time constraints we were under," Sheron said. "We've winnowed those problems down one-by-one-by-one and our complaints are minimal now. There are some lingering complaints, like our coverage area in Le Roy, and I'd say that's probably the top of the list right now."

Steve Sharpe, director of emergency communications, said among the interference issues Pericle will study are related to police and fire personnel inside of buildings.

The measure of adequate coverage is no more than a 10-decibel drop in the transmission inside of a structure, which is about what you would expect inside a two-story, wood-framed house with a shingle roof. The old system only had a bit more than 70-percent coverage by that standard. The new system is in the 90-percent range, but can be improved, Sharpe said.

Sheron noted that there were quite a few problems with the old system, but nobody ever complained because responders had learned to adjust to those issues. While the new system has room for improvement, it is an upgrade over the old system, he said, and no communications system will provide 100-percent coverage 100 percent of the time.

While some of the interference problems officers and firefighters experience might be isolated to small areas or specific circumstances, there are larger areas in Le Roy where Harris radios go dead.

Legislator Shelly Stein, who represents Le Roy, said she's been following the issue closely, joining meetings with the E-911 Board, Harris and the consultants, and advocating on behalf of her first responders.

She's confident things are moving in a positive direction.

"When the county moved us over to countywide dispatch, not all of the feet were pointed in the same direction," Stein said. "Today, everybody wants this to work. Our desire is to make this work for everybody. It's right at the focal point of every one of our discussions."

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