The County Legislature created the Communications Department in late 1990 to implement and maintain a countywide Enhanced 911 emergency telephone system.
The Department's primary responsibility is to oversee the operation of the County's Enhanced 911 system. This involves the functions of: management of Enhanced 911 databases, oversight of equipment maintenance, coordination of the integrated operations of the four dispatch centers, and support of county-wide public awareness.
In addition, the Department maintains close liaison with County and town planning staffs concerning proposed real estate developments, making recommendations on new street names that will not be confused with existing ones. The 911 office derives all new addresses for Duanesburg, Princetown, and Delanson, and for large portions (rural) of Glenville and Rotterdam. This involves measuring the distance from the new driveway to an existing structure in our mapping data base, deriving a new address, and notifying the resident, town, and the U.S. Postal Service.
Enhanced 911 is an emergency response system that makes use of state of the art communications technology to let you place an emergency call from any phone in Schenectady County by dialing just three digits: 9-1-1.
The Enhanced 911 emergency telephone system provides you with almost instant access to the right police, fire, or medical dispatcher, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
When the dispatcher receives your call, the Enhanced 911 system automatically displays the following information:
- Telephone number you are calling from
- Address at which the telephone is located
- Which police, fire, and medical agencies respond to your address
Schenectady County’s Enhanced Wireless 9-1-1 service became operational at the end of 2006. Emergency call takers now have the capability to locate a caller who dials 9-1-1 on a cellular or wireless telephone. State-of-the-art digital equipment displays wireless caller location on a computer map display using coordinates supplied with each call by the wireless carriers. Depending upon the age and type of telephone used, caller location will appear as either a pie shaped sector off a specific cell tower site (older phones) or as a map point which can be as accurate as three meters (new GPS equipped phones). The map display shows caller location along with detailed information such as surrounding streets, structures and addresses. With the click of a button, the call taker can switch from a digital map display to an overhead photograph of area with full zoom in and out capability.
The technically advanced equipment required to provide this new service was purchased and installed using funds obtained under the State of New York’s Wireless E 9-1-1 Expedited Deployment Grant. With this new equipment in place, County emergency dispatch centers are enjoying the advantages of dramatically improved emergency call processing capabilities, call location mapping, and a management information system which provides the detailed statistics needed to analyze and improve operational efficiency. This new system represents a dramatic improvement to public safety in Schenectady County.