DIVISION OF COMMUNICATIONS
PRESS RELEASE: December 08, 2020
Hunterdon County’s 9-1-1 Dispatchers Recognized By International Public Safety Organization For Diligence On The Job
Hunterdon County’s Communications Division, the 9-1-1 dispatch center, was recognized by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) for their consistent dedication and distinguished service during the COVID-19 pandemic, Freeholder Matt Holt reported at a recent Freeholder meeting.
9-1-1 THE HUNTERDON COUNTY COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
, established in 1975, went on the air June 23, 1976. On February 1, 1977 Hunterdon County became the first county-wide agency to have 9-1-1 in New Jersey, and the only one that handled all emergency calls through one central communications center.
Thousands of emergency situations have been addressed and responded to by either the use of the "9-1-1" emergency telephone number or through direct radio communication since 1976. The continual commitment since the establishment of the Communications System has been to provide a coordinated communications network for all emergency services required by the residents of Hunterdon County in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
OUR PRESENT FACILITY was opened for operation in December of 1987. Prior to that we operated out of a four (4) room farmhouse. The 6,000 square foot building was designed to increase the efficiency and coordination of the many functions associated with 9-1-1 and Emergency Management. During emergency situations, location of the communication staff in relation to their equipment was a major factor in design to enhance response time and disseminate information as quickly as possible. The 900 square foot Communications Room, which serves as the central location for all emergency communications, was designed to insure the proper conditions are present for both the Public Safety Telecommunicator and equipment to perform harmoniously with the least amount of environmental stress possible. This area is in continued use 24 hours each day, throughout every day of the year. Plans are currently being developed to expand the communications center to accommodate the growth of the system since 1987. A new communications room and adjacent offices will allow more room for the additional staff that will be needed both now and in the future. The current communications room will be converted into the Emergency Management Emergency Operations Center. The project is anticipated to start construction in 2002 and be completed in 2003.
The Hunterdon County Communications System handles emergency calls for sixteen (16) Municipal Police Departments, thirty (30) Fire Departments, fourteen (14) First Aid and Rescue Squads, and four (4) Mobile Intensive Care Units. There are three (3) New Jersey State Police Stations covering municipalities that do not have their own departments. Other agencies dispatched are the Prosecutor's Office, Sheriff's Office, Medical Examiner, Health Department, Road Department and the Parks and Recreation Department.
As a centralized Communications Center, the Hunterdon County Communications System reduces duplicated services and wasted effort, increasing the efficiency of the link between the citizens of Hunterdon County and the associated Public Safety agencies.
The Hunterdon County Communications System utilizes a Ques Enforth Development Computer Aided Dispatch System, linked to a CML ESC-1000 switch, which is provided by Sprint.
NOTE: Aerial photo above courtesy of Kurt Pricer