by Ray Pauley
Public Information Officer
Grand Island Fire Co.
Grand Island Fire Co. Communications Supervisor Steve Morgan reports that a new Intrado Power 911 system was placed in service at the Grand Island Fire Co. Dispatch Center on Feb. 27.
This enhanced Verizon state-of-the-art fiber optics installation represents the culmination of a three-year project to upgrade all public safety answering points in Erie County that provide emergency services. As a result, the GIFC now has the capability of instantaneous contact with any fire, police, etc., agency west of the Hudson. This is especially critical when local mutual aid assistance is required because telephone delays will be all but eliminated, Morgan noted.
Sophisticated mapping capabilities also become a stark reality, which will enable the GIFC to pinpoint the exact location of an emergency victim. No longer will such information have to be passed on through a third party, such as in the case of an injured snowmobiler whose location had to be relayed to the GIFC during a prior incident this winter.
These advantages and other operational upgrades were explored during intense training received by Morgan and Assistant Communications Supervisor Dave Dombrowski through the Erie County CPS.
Further training for individual GIFC dispatchers is already underway.
Consequently GIFC officials are in 100 percent agreement that this expanded dimension of communications technology constitutes a dramatic improvement that will make volunteers' challenging community protection duties that much easier, safer and effective.