The Journal Register (Medina, NY)


October 21, 2013

LETTER: Radio system upgrade is for first responders' safety

Medina Journal-Register — First responders are part of what reinforces the foundation of our great nation. They leave their loved ones to deal with emergencies, risking a great deal for those they don’t know. They allow the rest of us to concentrate on other matters in our lives, knowing if the need arises and we dial 911, someone will be sure to respond.

Emergency Management, law enforcement, ambulance services, medical personnel and fire departments are the protective hand of emergency response. Anyone who has ever used one of these services knows the important role that they play in our county. These individuals, who risk their lives every time they are called out, need our utmost support. They donate their time and effort in saving lives and reducing financial damage to our county’s infrastructure.

As it has been calculated, replacing volunteer firefighters with paid employees would cost the county between $7 million and $8 million a year. It seems only right that we should give the volunteers the tools and equipment needed to perform their jobs as safely as possible, not to squander it on needless political effigies. We should be thankful that people in our county are willing to step forward and perform these services.

Eight years ago, due to the aged radio system becoming unreliable and producing a lack of coverage, the Orleans County Legislature decided to upgrade county-wide communications. A contract was signed with the vendor and the issues began. 

For a resolution over this incident, the county ended up in front of the Federal Communications Commission to testify. A deal was made and the upgrade is going forward. The end result will be a state-of-the-art communication system when completed in March 2014, with final cut-over to the new system in April 2014. 

It has been a long, hard road to get to this end point, but the struggle is worth it to give our responders nothing less than the best tools necessary for their safety and success.

With deep appreciation, thank you, first responders, for the outstanding job you do for the residents of our county. Please continue to protect our county and always keep yourselves safe.

Donald Allport

Orleans County Legislator At-Large





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