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From Firefighters To Police To EMS To The Bee-Line, Westchester Relies On Radio For Daily Operations & To Keep Residents Safe; BUT, System Was Decades Old, Putting Essential Services At Risk  

Schumer Secured $2 Million In End Of Year Spending Package To Upgrade Westchester’s Critical Emergency Radio System, Saving Tax Payer $$$ & Getting First Responders The 21st Century Support They Need  

Schumer: Funding Will Tune Westchester Into The Next Generation Of Emergency Radio Tech! 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that he has secured $2,000,000 for critical upgrades to overhaul Westchester County’s emergency radio and transit communication system. The funding was secured as a part of the bipartisan omnibus spending package for Fiscal Year 2022. Schumer explained that firefighters, police, EMS and transit like the Bee Line bus system, all rely on these communication systems in their daily work to ensure public safety and deliver vital services to Westchester County residents. This funding will help upgrade Westchester’s radio system, some of which was based off analog technology, with new state of the art reliable communications to save critical taxpayer dollars and bolster essential services to keep those who live, work and visit Westchester County safe.

“In an emergency, when seconds count, you need the best in communication technology. When Westchester County told me they needed help getting these outdated emergency & transit radio systems replaced I heard them loud and clear, and I am proud to have secured $2 million in federal funding to give our firefighter, EMS, police and buses the modern equipment to keep Westchester families safe,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding will boost our first responders, the Bee Line, and so many other essential services to keep Westchester running smoothly and tuned into the latest in radio technology.” 

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said, “Thanks to Senator Schumer, this funding can help ensure our County’s first responders and transit workers can better rely on the communications services they need to keep us all safe and going where we need to go. Time and time again, Senator Schumer has shown up for Westchester – truly showing what partnership among various levels of government is supposed to look like.”

This Schumer secured $2 million in funding will support the ongoing design, construction, and improvements of large mission critical interoperable radio communications systems used by the Westchester County Departments of Emergency Services, Public Safety-Police Department, Public Works, and Transportation, as well as providing access to all municipal first responder agencies, including all the fire and EMS agencies that provide vital services throughout the County. It will also replace an integral part of the County’s radio systems used to communicate with Bee-Line buses and other support personnel.

These upgrades include radio system infrastructure and hardware installed at more than a dozen radio tower sites in the County, numerous radio consoles used by dispatchers, and several thousand handheld and vehicle radios used by first responders and service personnel in the field. Schumer said that additional funding will also support the system capital projects, saving local taxpayer dollars to improve the design, procure, and implement additional services needed for system enhancements, including the Trunked Radio System and the paging/alerting system used to notify agencies of an emergency.

The Westchester County Departments of Emergency Services Emergency Communications Center located in Valhalla will greatly benefit from this system overhaul, as it provides primary dispatch services to 53 fire departments and 31 EMS agencies within Westchester County. The upgraded system will be accessible to all the fire and EMS agencies that provide critical 911 services. Additionally, Westchester’s DPS Headquarters located in Hawthorne will use these crucial upgrades as the agency provides dispatch services for DPS as well as interoperability and law enforcement dispatch support for some local municipalities.