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12 counties to share cost of $7.9M upgrade to 911 dispatch centers

| Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, 12:21 a.m.

Officials from Armstrong County and 11 other counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania plan to share the cost of a $7.9 million upgrade to their 911 dispatch centers.

The project will give 911 dispatchers across the 12 counties the same computer network and replace outdated machines.

Western Pennsylvania County Regional ESInet (WestCORE), which comprises a dozen counties, including Armstrong, Allegheny, Butler and Indiana, is working to replace outdated 911 customer premises equipment (CPE), said David Boyce, vice president of Harrisburg-based Mission Critical Partners.

“These counties came together as a consortium and asked Armstrong County to sponsor this project,” Boyce said. “The funds would not be covered by Armstrong County, but it will be divided among the 12 counties, based on the number of 911 work stations each county has.

“The final amount will be negotiated down.”

The Armstrong County commissioners awarded the project to Cassidian Communications and CenturyLink, based in Temecula, Calif., during their meeting last week. The project is being reviewed by solicitors in the 12 counties.

Randy Brozenick, director of public safety in Armstrong County, said the project was sent out to bid in February. Representaives from the companies visited emergency officials to demonstrate how the equipment works, he said.

Commissioner Rich Fink said working with WestCORE has been beneficial to Armstrong and the other counties.

“This is one area where partnerships and working together as groups, county-to-county, helps all of us save dollars for the same service,” Fink said. “It's a good venture for us, and I'm proud we're taking the lead.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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