STATE COLLEGE, Pa., April 22, 2019—The Southern Alleghenies 911 Cooperative announced today the official kick-off of an initiative to interconnect all member counties via a fiber-optic network provided by Zito Media, Inc. of Coudersport, Pa. Mission Critical Partners, a public safety communications consulting and information technology (IT) support firm based in State College, Pa., is providing subject-matter expertise to support the initiative.
Interconnecting the member counties via this fiber-optic network will enable the transfer of misdirected emergency calls to the appropriate 911 center in a more seamless manner than before. It also will enable the centers to share critical data to enhance situational awareness, and to share 911-related technology—such as computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and call-handling systems—which can result in significant cost savings for all member counties.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) awarded funding at the beginning of 2018 that will cover 100 percent of the initiative’s costs. The funding was generated by the 911 surcharge that all Pennsylvania citizens pay through their telephony service providers. The grant award stipulated that a request for proposals (RFP) be issued for a fiber-optic network that would interconnect the 911 centers. The RFP effort was led by Somerset County in spring 2018, and today all member counties have signed contracts with Zito Media for the implementation of this network.
The longer-term vision for the initiative is to interconnect 29 counties across southwest and south-central Pennsylvania to enable each county to more easily transition to Next Generation 911 (NG911) when the time is right for doing so, by enhancing the ability of each to share resources, capabilities and costs.
About Southern Alleghenies 911 Cooperative
Southern Alleghenies 911 Cooperative (SAC911) was formed in 2015 when Bedford, Blair, Fulton and Huntingdon counties entered into an intergovernmental agreement to work collaboratively to enhance operational capabilities and cost savings related to the emergency communications infrastructure in the region. Since then the counties have worked cooperatively on ways to improve 911 service in their jurisdictions. In 2018 the cooperative expanded to include Cambria, Centre and Somerset counties.
About Mission Critical Partners (MCP)
Mission Critical Partners (MCP) is an independent IT and network support services firm specializing in mission-critical infrastructure. MCP helps clients enhance and evolve their public safety systems and operations through our extensive experience, knowledge and resources. By providing insight and support every step of the way, our clients are able to transform their mission-critical operations, maximizing the value of their investments and ensuring optimal performance and success. Additional information and career opportunities are available at www.MissionCriticalPartners.com.