Unified Communications Center
The Schenectady County Unified Communications Center serves as a centralized emergency and public safety dispatch center. Schenectady County operates the Unified Communications Center for the purpose of call answering and dispatching appropriate service entities for public safety and emergencies in the City of Schenectady and the Towns of Niskayuna, Glenville (including the Village of Scotia), Rotterdam, Duanesburg (including the village of Delanson) and Princetown. The Schenectady County Unified Communications Center is the result of a 20 year shared services agreement between the County, City, and State which was executed in September, 2012 and was completed in May, 2014.
The Schenectady County Unified Communications (UCC) shared service project included the centralization of four public safety answering points into one countywide emergency call answering and dispatch center to serve all law enforcement, fire and emergency medical response. Opening in May of 2014, this shared services project includes standardization of call answering and dispatching; improved response time; and increased ability to provide training and cost efficiency. This municipal cooperation initiative saves taxpayers more than $600,000 per year. It is the result of a shared services agreement involving the County of Schenectady, City of Schenectady, and all five (5) Towns; Rotterdam, Niskayuna, Princetown, Duanesburg, and Glenville.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I call 911?
- Anything that has just occurred or is still in progress that could be life threatening. You should call if you have a medical emergency in which someone needs an ambulance. A fire or any incident which has injuries or unknown injuries would be reason to call.
When should I NOT call 911?
- You should not use 911 if you are reporting anything that has occurred prior to right now (like yesterday, days before, or even weeks before). An incident where the responsible party is gone and there is no person or property who is in danger at that time but a report is necessary for insurance.
What happens if I call 911 accidentally and hang up?
- The dispatcher will call your number back. If the dispatcher reaches a child on the phone, he/she will ask to speak to an adult. An officer will be dispatched to the residence/business if no one answers when they attempt to call back or if they are unable to get an adult on the phone. If the line is busy when the call back attempt is made, the dispatcher will dispatch an officer to do a welfare check.
You already know my address and phone number so why do you still ask me for it?
- Computers are wonderful technology, but they are not infallible. Mistakes can be made so we want to make sure or confirm that the information we are seeing is correct. Another possibility is that you may be calling from a neighbor’s house or from a cell phone but that may not be where help is needed so we want to make sure we are sending help to the correct location.
Why do you ask so many questions when I call 911?
- We ask questions pertaining to the location of an incident and descriptions of vehicles or people involved. Often we ask for descriptions of the victim’s clothing as well as the suspect’s clothing, this is to make sure that the officers who respond know which people are involved and how. At times we also need to know if a crime is still occurring or if it occurred some time ago in order to determine if the suspects may or may not still be in the area and if the officers should go searching for them.
Why can’t you just send help instead of keeping me on the phone?
- In an emergency, you are likely to be highly upset or even frantic. Remember that most often while you are speaking to the call taker on the phone, another dispatcher is already sending the help you need. Sometimes the call taker will keep you on the phone to try to keep you calm and occupied until help arrives. Sometimes they will even tell you what to do to help the victim until help arrives. The best thing you can do is to be responsive and don’t try to fight the call taker or hang up on him/her. If you’ve hung up before all the necessary information has been obtained, you may delay the arrival of help.