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Onondaga County Department of Emergency Communications

2018 Department/Component Goals/Objectives


1.The E911 Center and all communications support systems are 100% reliable.

    • Conduct monthly inspections of all tower sites and document findings.  Correct deficiencies, report them to the appropriate County department, or service vendor.  [Radio]  
    • Conduct weekly operational inspections of the Master and Prime Site equipment and ensure that updates and file maintenance is performed as required by the vendor.  [Radio]
    • Conduct bi-annual tower inspections, to include climbing of the towers by the contracted tower maintenance vendor.  Document findings and repair deficiencies immediately.  [Radio]  
    • Acquire and install a geographically redundant backup trunked radio system Prime Site to ensure reliability of the radio system  [Radio0]
    • Replace the Rose Hill Radio Tower (ROS) and seek funding to replace the Makyes (MAK) Radio Tower in 2019.   [Radio]
    • Ensure that portable radio ID lists are updated regularly by public safety agencies.  [Admin]
    • Ensure that authorized service vendors in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and good engineering practice conduct periodic infrastructure equipment preventative maintenance.  [Tech Services/Radio]
    • Ensure that hardware and software updates/patches are performed as necessary and in a timely manner.  [Tech Services/Radio]
    • Ensure that system infrastructure equipment problems and failures are being detected in a timely manner and are being appropriately addressed by service vendors.  [Tech Services/Radio/Ops]
    • Ensure that information regarding system changes or issues are adequately communicated to Operations staff and that problems are adequately communicated to technical staff.  [Tech Services/Radio/Operations]
    • Identify and implement opportunities to improve system reliability that involve routine maintenance that can be performed by line personnel (e.g., periodic CAD re-starts).  [Tech Services/Radio/Ops]
    • Continue to evaluate the cyber threat potential to our systems and recommend actions when necessary.  [Tech Services]
    • Maintain the integrity of system code plugs and the programming of subscriber units by securely maintaining the master and ensuring that authorized programmers have access to the most recent code plugs and are programming only authorized templates. Require all programming vendors and radio shop key holders to sign a programming agreement.  [Radio]
    • Reconvene the Radio System Team Leads group to review and make recommendations regarding TLMR system templates; seek grant funding for re-programming, if necessary.  [Radio/Tech Services]
    • Fine tune the replacement HVAC system at the E911 Center.  [Radio/Facilities]
    • Replace the undersized air conditioning unit in the Civic Center (CIV) rooftop radio room.   [Radio]

2.Calls for assistance are answered, processed and dispatched consistent with best practices and department values.

    • Answer at a minimum 90 percent of all incoming 9-1-1 emergency calls within ten seconds of connection.
    • Answer 95% of all other 9-1-1 calls within 20 seconds or less.  [Ops]
    • Work with Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency (SOCPA) to update GIS data sets (CAD and MDT mapping) as new information becomes available.  [Tech Services]
    • Work with Airbus DS to implement a VESTA 4x queue light solution by May 30, 2018.  [Tech Services/Admin]
    • Maintain compliance with all applicable CALEA Public Safety Communications standards as measured by a successful March 2018 compliance review.  [PDS]
    • Review the improved NY Alert Everbridge public alerting product and make a recommendation in regard to the continued use of Hyper-Reach.  [Admin/Ops]

3.Operations achieve the highest degree of public safety and public confidence.

    • Continue public satisfaction surveys and attempt to increase return rate by offering the ability to respond electronically.  [Admin]
    • Maintain customer satisfaction ratings <3.8 (scale of 1-4) in all categories.  [Ops]
    • Continue to review and collaborate with other County agencies regarding E911 facility needs for the next 25 years.  [Admin]
    • Complete APCO Project 33 training certification by June 1, 2018.  [Professional Development]
    • Implement a full-time Quality Assurance/Quality Improvement Program to enhance training by identifying agency strengths and pinpointing areas that require improvement.  [Admin]
    • Work with Emergency Management to develop a protocol regarding the use of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) in Onondaga County.  [Admin/Ops]

4.Operational and support services meet the operational needs of member public safety agencies.

    • Continue to encourage dispatch agencies to assign personnel to observe floor operations as part of academy and in-service training. 
    • Develop CBT program for public safety agencies regarding operation of subscriber beyond the primary zone (first 16 talk groups) and promote the services provided by the Radio Division.  [Training][Radio Division]
    • Implement agency response plan changes in less than 30 days.  [Tech Services]

5. All employees are knowledgeable and possess the requisite skills and abilities that allow them to complete their job tasks efficiently and effectively to the highest level of expectation.

    • Provide a minimum of 24 hours of annual in-service training for all personnel.  [Professional Development]
    • Include “verbal judo” training for all newly hired call takers and dispatchers.  [Professional Development]
    • Ensure all employees receive annual refresher training in best practices for handling calls regarding missing and exploited children. 
    • Maintain APCO certification for all Communications Training Officers (CTOs).  [Training]
    • Continue to work to develop the skills of senior staff interested in advancing to higher levels of management within the department.  [Admin]
    • Provide radio system refresher training for dispatch personnel to include topics such as failsoft, site trunking, patching, and uses of interoperable talk groups, subscriber radio templates/operation, and handling radio system anomalies.  [Radio/PDS]
    • Identify effective and cost effective technical training to maintain knowledge and skills in the field of information technology, trunked LMR, microwave transport, and RF practices.   [Radio/Tech Services]
    • Provide cross-training opportunities relating to the GIS and mapping function.  [Tech Services]
    • Identify management and support positions that may experience turnover in the coming years and develop a succession plan to ensure continuity of operations.  [All Components]
    • Identify cross-training opportunities within the Technical Services and Radio divisions to improve capabilities of on-call technicians and provide staffing flexibility.  [Radio/Tech Services]
    • Develop a list of common technical issues and the priority of response requested to reduce unnecessary after-hour tech staff notifications/call-ins.  [Radio/Tech Services]

6.Technology is strategically acquired, implemented, and utilized to improve customer service and assist personnel in accomplishing their work more effectively and efficiently.

    • Continue review Implementation CAD-Voice technology that will allow “one button click” automated radio alerting/dispatch of Syracuse. Work with EM and others to review applicability to County EMS dispatch.   [Admin/Tech Services/Professional Development/Ops]
    • Replace the 800 MHz DataRadio MDCN with a broadband solution capable of supporting present and future needs, to include consideration of participating in the FirstNet national public safety broadband network program.   [Admin/Tech Services]
    • Replace the Common User Microwave Radio System (CUMRS) to MPLS to allow for increased utilization and to bring it up to date with current and future requirements of the TLMR and NYS DHSES guidelines requiring greater information sharing between the state’s 911 centers.   [Radio]
    • Implement Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (A.S.A.P.) interface and start receiving alarms from our first vendor into our computer aided dispatch system.  This will help reduce the number of alarm related voice calls received.  [Tech Services/Admin]
    • Implement an integrated Text-to-911 solution to improve the handling of text-to-911 messaging.   [Admin/Radio/Tech Services]
    • Complete an internal review of the Hexagon (Intergraph) Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system to ensure that it continues to meet our needs, the needs of our public safety clients, and remains cost effective.  [Admin]
    • Review hardware and software systems in place and determine need and value.  Develop a lifecycle plan to be considered in capital improvement planning.  [Admin/Tech Services/Radio]
    • Continue to work with New York State on the development of an ESI Net and core services to support implementation of Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG-911).  [Admin]
    • Review the NY Alert public notification system to determine its utility in regard to meeting the notification needs of E911 and Onondaga County.

7.Work with our Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium (CNYICC) partners to explore cost sharing opportunities that would result in more cost effective, consistent, and efficient services to our communities.

    • Continue to provide radio system administration support to CNYICC counties as requested.  [Admin/Radio]
    • Work with interested counties and agencies on sharing our VESTA 4x call taking solution.  [Admin/Tech Services]
    • Connect Jefferson County to the Onondaga Shared Master Site in anticipation of Jefferson’s TLMR implementation in 2019.  [Admin/Radio Division]
    • Work with CNYICC and Cortland County to consider the linking of the Onondaga- Cortland master sites.
    • Explore the feasibility of a CAD to CAD interface with our neighboring counties allowing the sharing of call and unit status information on events that affect both counties.  [Admin/Tech Services]
    • Participate in a NYS Department of State 9-1-1 Center Consolidation Study. [Admin]

8.Seek operating efficiencies in an effort to control costs necessary to remain within the 2016 Onondaga County Department of Emergency Communications budget as modified (bAm), especially in the area of personnel costs.

    • Control overtime expenses by filling position vacancies as soon as practical when authorized with the goal of achieving our authorized/funded strength by the end of 2017.  [Admin]
    • Develop a plan to address the impact of anticipated retirements in 2019.  [Admin]
    • Achieve a new hire retention success rate of at least 75%. [Training]
    • Continue to seek federal, state and other grant-funding opportunities.   [Admin/Radio/Tech Services]
    • Work with all service contract vendors to ensure that annual increases remain within operating budget and tax cap limitations.  [Admin/Radio/Tech Services/ Professional Development]
    • Work with NY SICB, NYSACC, NYS 911 Coordinator’s Association and CNYICC to find and promote funding streams to help offset declining wire line surcharge revenues.  [Admin]
    • Prepare for the budget impact of the legal sunset of the 65-cent wire line surcharge that was specific to the bonding and maintenance of the OCICS TLMR and will expire in July 2019.  [Admin]

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