Department of Emergency Services
The Clinton County Department of Emergency Services (CCDES) is a branch of county government, which was created in January of 2005 through consolidation of the then 9-1-1 Communications Department and the Office of Emergency Management. This consolidation of departments resulted in the creation of a dedicated team of diverse individuals who handle the receipt of 9-1-1 emergency calls along with the dispatching of public safety agencies. Furthermore the team also works to ensure the safety of our community through a quality comprehensive emergency management program.
Emergency Management Program
As a team CCDES staff coordinates and works closely with local, state, federal and private sector groups to serve the residents of Clinton County when confronted with the potential for natural or technological hazards. In our disaster management preparation CCDES follows an all hazards comprehensive approach to emergency management. This comprehensive approach follows a four (4) step cycle.
Comprehensive Four Step Cycle
In order to ensure the continuation of this four (4) step cycle CCDES depends on the support it receives from a large number of volunteers and numerous volunteer groups throughout Clinton County. These dedicated volunteers provide the county with expert knowledge as Emergency Operations Center Staff members and as members of the CCDES Hazardous Materials Response Team. Additionally, this group of volunteers is instrumental in providing key information and technical assistance during times of emergency or disaster. The information and assistance enables staff to prepare for the needs of our residents when tragedy strikes. Without the dedication of these volunteers, valuable time in a disaster situation could be lost when seconds could mean the difference between life and death.
As a small rural county the CCDES Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) is one of the most technologically advanced in the area. The PSAP is a full service 9-1-1 communications center taking 9-1-1 emergency calls and conducting dispatching for all fire, EMS and municipal police departments within Clinton County. The PSAP operates a state of the art telephone system for the handling of 9-1-1 emergency calls. The 9-1-1 telephone system is linked to a computer software mapping program, which automatically plots incoming 9-1-1 emergency call on a map. Through the interaction of these two (2) systems the Telecommunicator in most cases is able to visually identify the location of the party calling 9-1-1. In addition to being able to identify the location of people dialing 9-1-1 from a fixed/ hard line telephone, our PSAP is also able to locate certain cellular telephone users dialing 9-1-1 for emergency assistance. While this feature is not currently available for all cellular service providers, it is available to most major cellular service carriers operating within Clinton County. The PSAP also utilizes a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system to store and track data specific to the dispatching of fire, EMS and law enforcement agencies. The CAD system stores data used to identify the appropriate response of agencies based on an incident type and incident location. Furthermore the CAD system tracks time specific to incidents and also allows the Telecommunicator to document and store incident/situation specific information. Once all of the necessary data is captured in the CAD system, we are then able to use the data to generate a multitude of reports.
While being state-of-the-art in our emergency call handling, the PSAP also operates a complex microwave based radio communications system. The radio communications network operates from seven (7) different tower sites located throughout Clinton and Centre Counties. All radio communication for fire, EMS and police agencies in Clinton County are conducted on high band radio frequencies.
The Department of Emergency Services also maintains a volunteer Emergency Response & Support Team, which came to fruition in 1992 with the hiring of the county's first Hazardous Materials Coordinator. The hiring was a joint effort between the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Clinton County Board of Commissioners. During its early years the response team grew in size through the interest shown by the response team personnel from various industries located within Clinton County. Since the late 1990's the team has fluctuated in numbers of personnel. At its peak during the mid to late 90's, the response team maintained a roster of 35 personnel. The response team currently maintains a membership roster of twenty (20) individuals.
One of the roles of the response team is to focus on planning and education of emergency responders at all levels, as well as education of the response team personnel. Furthermore, one of the team's functions is to operate as a support mechanism to a contracted or certified hazardous materials response team. Additionally, the response team personnel are trained to perform defensive practices and operations when on the scene of a hazardous materials emergency.
Department of Emergency Services Vehicles
DES operates a fleet of three (3) vehicles along with a mobile decontamination unit. In 2001 the county purchased a new 2001 Ford F-350 crew cab pick-up truck with a Royal Sport Utility Body. The vehicle is used as a resource center and carries a wide variety of chemical reference material as well as an assortment of air quality and solid substance metering/detection equipment. The 2003 Chevy 6500 with a seventeen (17) foot Morgan Van Body is the primary vehicle for carrying a large assortment of equipment used in both defensive and offensive operations/activities.
Beginning in 2004 DES was fortunate to take advantage of its involvement with the North Central Task Force (NCTF) by taking delivery of an ACSI Inc. mobile decontamination unit. The fleet was further enhanced in late 2005 with the receipt of a 2006 F-350 crew cab pick-up, which has a number of functions such as being capable of operating as a mobile command unit at small scale incidents. The 2006 Ford also serves as the primary means of moving the mobile decontamination unit and other assets purchased through the NCTF but owned/operated by DES.
How to Contact CCDES Staff
Administrative Staff Listing & Telephone Extension
Main Telephone Number: (570) 893-4090
Available Documents for Download
Clinton County Department of Emergency Services
311 Frederick Street
Lock Haven, PA 17745
Fax: (570) 893-4047
For the hearing impaired, please dial 7-1-1 (PArelay.net)
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