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EMA/EMS Planner receives "Pennsylvania Commendation Medal" for coordination with PA National Guard during "Vigilant Guard" Exercise

posted Oct 9, 2014, 5:49 AM by Brian Melcer

Tina Marshall, EMA/EMS Planner with the Lawrence County Department of Public Safety, has been awarded the "Pennsylvania Commendation Medal" from the Pennsylvania National Guard.  The medal was issued by Governor Tom Corbett and the Adjutant General of the PA National Guard, Major General Wesley E. Craig.

Tina was instrumental in coordinating a large portion of the bioterror portion of the "Vigilant Guard" exercise which occurred in May 2014.  According to the PA National Guard, Vigilant Guard was designed to improve interoperability between agencies in disaster situations. With more than 2,500 participants including: eight National Guards, U.S. NORTHCOM, more than 20 Pennsylvania state agencies, more than three federal agencies, and other agencies, this exercise demonstrated a massive united response to multiple simulated disaster scenarios.   According to the Guard, Vigilant Guard 2014 was the largest guard exercise in the nation.  Although there were over 2,500 participants and planners, only a few received the Pennsylvania Commendation Medal.

Tina worked tirelessly on planning the portions of the exercise that involved Lawrence County, including the receipt of the strategic national stockpile from the Department of Health as well as a simulated incident site at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds.  She also escorted the Pennsylvania Air National Guard's Deputy Adjutant General as well as the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The award was presented to the Department of Public Safety on Tina's behalf at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency annual conference in Seven Springs in October, 2014.  Tina was awarded the medal by the County Commissioners at their meeting on October 7, 2014.

The Department of Public Safety is proud of Tina's accomplishment and most importantly recognizes that Lawrence County is more prepared for such events due to her hard work and dedication.

Bids advertised for new PSAP / Emergency Operations Center on 9/15/2014

posted Sep 15, 2014, 7:51 AM by Brian Melcer   [ updated Sep 15, 2014, 7:56 AM ]

The County of Lawrence, Pennsylvania will receive sealed proposals for THE PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY, 1451 County Line Rd., New Castle, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, for the following Prime Contracts:

Contract No                Type of Contract                                                     

           14005.000-01                General Construction

           14005.000-02                Plumbing/Fire Suppression Construction

           14005.000-03                HVAC Construction

14005.000-04                Electrical Construction


Bids will be accepted no later than 3:00 pm, local prevailing time, Monday, October 13,  2014,  at the Office of the Controller, Lawrence County Government offices, 430 Court Street, New Castle, PA 16101, Attention James Gagliano, Jr, County Administrator.  Bids will be publicly opened and read aloud at 10am, Local prevailing time, Tuesday, October 14th   in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Government Center 430 Court Street, New Castle, PA 16101.  All interested parties are invited to attend.

Prime Bidders may obtain one set of Bidding Documents as follows:

·         MAIL a deposit check in the amount of $300.00 payable to LAWRENCE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA to Printscape Imaging and Graphics, 700 Vista Park Drive #7, Pittsburgh, PA 15205. Write “14005 Public Safety Facility” in the Memo line, and include a request on company letterhead that includes your firm name, contact person’s name, email address, UPS shipping address (no PO Box numbers), phone and fax numbers.

·         Fax to 724 652 0751 a copy of deposit check and written request (email address required).

·         Bidding Documents will be shipped postage paid upon receipt of faxed request.

Additional sets, or partial sets, of Bidding Documents can be purchased directly from Printscape 412-788-0640.

Deposit will be returned provided Bidding Documents are returned to Printscape within ten calendar days of bidding date, in good usable condition, and a Bona Fide Bid is received by the Lawrence County, otherwise deposit will be forfeited.  DO NOT RETURN DRAWINGS TO ARCHITECT


In addition, Bidding Documents may be reviewed beginning at the Office of Eckles Architecture and Engineering, 301 North Mercer Street, New Castle, Pennsylvania  16101, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM; or by contacting the following:


EN-SER Reprographic

3707 Market Street

Youngstown, Ohio  44507

330 788 6564

Construction Bulletin

Box 60, 4178 Market Street

Youngstown, Ohio  44512


Erie Construction Council

1102 Chestnut Street

Erie PA  16512-0394 

814 456-5528 


Pittsburgh Builders Exchange

1813 North Franklin Street

Pittsburgh, PA  15233

412 922 4200


Eckles Architecture and Engineering

by appointment

724 652 5507


McGraw-Hill Dodge

3315 Central Avenue

Hot Springs, AZ  71913

609 426-5550


Each bid must be accompanied by a proposal guaranty, a certified check, bank cashier's check, trust company treasurer's check, bid bond on the form provided and furnished by the Owner, or other form of security permitted by applicable law, in an amount of not less than ten percent (10%) of the total of the Base Bid made payable to or indemnifying the Lawrence County. In addition, submit the following with each bid: Non-Collusion Affidavit, Qualification Questionnaire, and a Certificate of Authority (if applicable).

Notice is given that the Project for which construction bids are being solicited hereby is a Project constituting public works in Pennsylvania and is subject to applicable provisions of the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act, Act of August 15, 1961, P.L. 987, as amended and supplemented, and appropriate prevailing minimum wage rates as promulgated under provisions of said Act must be paid by Contractors in connection with performance of the necessary work.


Corporations seeking to bid and organized under the laws of a state other than the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must secure the appropriate certificates and authorizations permitting them to conduct business within the Commonwealth.


Owner reserves the right to accept or reject any or all Bids or part thereof or items therein and to waive any informality in the bidding.


Prime Bidders will be required to REGISTER to receive notification of Addenda and project information updates, and to obtain access privileges to the DFS Project Website.  Registration as a Prime Bidder is automatic upon payment of required deposit, and a request on Bidder’s letterhead.  Notification of addenda and updates will be via e-mail. Addenda, questions and responses and other update information will be posted to the DFS Project Folder at


Scheduled Site Visits:  Bidders are responsible to visit the site to examine the location and existing conditions of the project, and are advised to do so on their own time during bidding.  A PRE-BID CONFERENCE is scheduled for Thursday, September 25, 2014.  Bidding documents will not be available at the pre-bid conference.  The meeting will be located at the Lawrence County Government offices, 430 Court Street, New Castle, PA 16101. The meeting will begin promptly at 2:00 PM in the Gettings Annex – Lawrence County Government Center.


Questions pertaining to the content of the Bidding Documents shall be directed to Mark Scheller, Eckles Architecture & Engineering by fax at 724-652-0751, or by email at  using the Pre-Bid RFI.   Phone calls will not be accepted and the use of the Pre-Bid RFI form is mandatory.


            By order of                               Lawrence County Commissioners

                                                            Daniel Vogler, Chairman

                                                            Steve Craig

                                                            Robert Del Signore

Additional Images:


P25 Radio Contract awarded to Motorola Solutions, Inc., microwave contract to Microwave Networks/Communications International

posted Jun 11, 2014, 8:37 AM by Brian Melcer

At their meeting yesterday, the Lawrence County Commissioners awarded the contract for a new P25 Digital VHF (Phase II) radio system to Motorola Solutions, Inc.  and a contract for Microwave Radio connectivity between the sites to Microwave Networks/Communications International.

Radio Infrastructure Contract
The contract with Motorola is in the amount of $5,705,384, and will include the following items:
  • 8 P25 Phase II VHF sites for radio infrastructure (tower construction will be awarded in a separate contract)
  • 7 position MCC-7500 console system for the new 9-1-1 center to be located on County Line Rd
    • Interfaces to recording and CAD systems
  • APX series subscriber units and accessories for all Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement agencies (mobile, control stations and portables)
    • AES Encryption for Law Enforcement agencies
    • Enhanced data on all subscriber units
    • Unified network services and GPS on EMS and certain law enforcement vehicles
    • Over the Air Programming and Radio Management8 site digital paging system and alphanumeric pagers (tone and voice paging upgrades will be performed under separate contract)
  • UHF/700-800/VHF interoperability stations strategically placed throughout the county to enhance communications with neighboring counties
The radio infrastructure system is expected to be a part of the ICORRS regional radio system shared with the other Region 13 counties of Armstrong, Indiana.  This will be the first VHF and Phase II system placed on the ICORRS master switch in Westmoreland County.  Lawrence County is currently in negotiations with Motorola and the ICORRS Council to make this regional effort a reality.  Lawrence County expects that joining the ICORRS system will save the county approximately $300,000 of the cost of the new system up front and even more significant savings over a 10 year cost of maintaining the system.

Microwave Backhaul Contract
The contract for Microwave Networks/Communications International is in the amount of $798,940.  It will provide 99.9995% reliable backhaul in a looped configuration between the 8 sites in the system.

Next Steps
We are excited to move to the next step in the County's Capital Upgrade program, which will entail detailed design reviews and system setup.  Subscriber units are expected to be delivered this summer and installed into first responder vehicles this year.  They will be able to operate on the existing system and easily migrate to the new system, which is anticipated to be accepted and completed in late 2015 or early 2016.  Public safety staff are currently verifying inventory totals with each first responder organization so that an appropriate order can be placed.

We also anticipate awarding a contract for tower construction very soon, with construction commencing this summer.

May 2014 Newsletter Available

posted May 15, 2014, 9:25 AM by Brian Melcer

The Lawrence County Department of Public Safety now has a newsletter available for first responders to read.  It is available by clicking on the "Biannual Newsletter Archive" link under programs.  Enjoy!

Lawrence County selects Architectural Team for new PSAP / EOC

posted Jan 22, 2014, 7:25 AM by Brian Melcer   [ updated Jan 22, 2014, 2:19 PM ]

At yesterday's meeting, the Lawrence County Commissioners agreed to select Eckles Architecture, Inc. of New Castle to serve as the prime architect for the construction of the new public safety headquarters on County Line Road in Hickory Township. 

Eckles Architecture will serve as the prime architect for the project, and in conjunction with our consultant, Mission Critical Partners, will oversee all design aspects of the project.  Eckles is a local firm with a proven track record of providing full service architectural design and engineering services in the public sector.  For our project, Eckles has teamed up with the Architects Design Group, of Winter Park, FL.  Architects Design Group is a nationally recognized, award winning firm specializing in the design of Police, Emergency Operations and 911 Center Facilities.  We are excited that this team will provide Lawrence County's residents with a state of the art, resilient, and cost effective design that will serve the county for many years.

The architectural team was selected from a field of six firms who responded to the County's Request for Qualifications in late 2013.  Firms were shortlisted and the ultimate selection was based on various criteria, including cost, locality, and previous public safety facility experience.

We anticipate the design process to end with a public bid some time in mid 2014.  It is our intention to move into the new facility in mid to late 2015.  We will continue to keep our constituents aware of the project through this page and on our Facebook page.

Below are some news articles regarding yesterday's action:

Lawrence County takes another step towards our new Public Safety Headquarters

posted Dec 18, 2013, 5:19 PM by Brian Melcer   [ updated Dec 18, 2013, 6:06 PM ]

Lawrence County DPS Headquarters Site

We are pleased to announce that we have taken a major step towards the construction of our new Department of Public Safety Headquarters.  At their meeting yesterday, the Lawrence County Commissioners authorized the purchase of 42 acres on County Line Rd in Hickory Township.  This site will serve as the location of the new Public Safety Headquarters.

We conducted an exhaustive search of the County for quite some time.  Through the assistance of our consultant, Mission Critical Partners, we developed a site profile that had some key characteristics:

  • The site needed to be in a location somewhat central to Lawrence County for communications purposes as well as accessibility of our extensive fleet of response equipment.
  • The site needed to have the necessary elevation and ability to construct a radio tower to access our new P25 digital radio system that is being developed in conjunction with the PSAP project.
  • The site needed to have access to Public Utilities.
  • The site had to be in an area that could be secured, and could not be located in any potential hazard zones such as flood plains.
We evaluated several sites, and the County Line Road site met all of these requirements and was available for a fair cost to the taxpayers.  Another added benefit for public safety responders in Lawrence County is that the amount of property on the site will allow for us to begin to develop a comprehensive training center and campus in the future.

We are excited about the next two years.  The County plans to hire an architectural firm with experience in designing modern, state of the art public safety facilities and the design process should begin within the next month.  The current schedule is for construction to begin in 2014 and be completed in the 3rd quarter of 2015.  This is anticipated to coincide with the development and installation of a new P25 radio system.

Soon we will be launching two new sections of our website---one devoted to tracking the progress of the Public Safety Headquarters and another to track the progress of the Countywide P25 Digital Radio System.

As always, if you have any questions regarding the projects, do not hesitate to contact us at or 724-658-7485.

Be Sure to Visit "Lawrence County 1st Responder" - Training Committee's site

posted Aug 13, 2013, 11:08 AM by Brian Melcer   [ updated Aug 13, 2013, 11:10 AM ]

We have added a link in the First Responder Directory to  This site serves as the online training information site for Lawrence County, and it is coordinated by the Training Committee of the Lawrence County Firefighters and Fire Chief's Association.  Be sure to check it out to find out what training courses are going on, sign up for SMS (text) notifications, and post or request training courses.

Fire Departments should begin submitting PennFIRS directly to OSFC

posted Nov 30, 2012, 12:54 PM by Brian Melcer


Due to changes that have occurred in the PennFIRS system, it is no longer useful or necessary for Lawrence County to be receiving and retransmitting PennFIRS reports as of 1/1/2013.  This is because they can be submitted directly to the PA State Fire Commissioner.  For more information on PennFIRS, visit For questions regarding PennFIRS On-Line, please contact the OSFC at 800-670-3473 or email  If you are not participating in PennFIRS, be advised that the incident reporting is now an online product, and still remains free to the fire departments of Pennsylvania.    Departments may also continue to use their own full version of Firehouse and submit the data directly to the OSFC as well.

As you are discussing things with the fire commissioners office, they may ask for your FDID.  Your departments FDID is “370XX”, where “XX” is the 2 digit version of your station #.  I.E. “37004” would be Bessemer, and “37023” would be Ellwood City.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our office.

Lawrence County DPS seeking applicants for 9-1-1 dispatch positions

posted Nov 28, 2012, 12:00 PM by Brian Melcer

The Lawrence County Department of Public Safety is currently testing and plans to fill part time telecommunicator positions.  There is also a likelihood of possible full time employment in the future.

As part of our hiring process, we require all candidates to complete a written position compatibility assessment battery. In order to complete the standard version assessment battery, the candidate must be able to read written information in a standard format and respond to questions by using writing instrument (i.e., pencil or pen).

The assessment battery is comprised of three paper and pencil components. The format of the assessment battery is as follows:
  • Component 1: Paper and pencil questionnaire requiring candidates to respond manually to 88 true/false questions. Twenty-five minutes is allowed for completion of this component.
  • Component 2: Paper and pencil test requiring candidates to respond manually to 50 various types of problem-solving questions. There is a 12-minute time limit for this component.
  • Component 3: Paper and pencil test requiring candidates to respond manually to simple verbal and color stimuli. There are three parts to the test, with a 90-second time limit per test part.

If you have not previously applied with our organization, you should complete an employment application which can be obtained electronically from the Lawrence County HR Department.

The following documents are part of the application process:
  1. Lawrence County Employment Application Needs to be postmarked and returned to us unless you have already completed one within the past 6 months. A resume including all relevant work history and certifications is also recommended.
  2. Position Description, Pre Application Checklist, Self Assessment and Job Facts Sheet.  These do not need to be returned to us, but will assist you in deciding if you wish to proceed
  3. Criminal History and Background Authorization Needs to be postmarked and returned to us prior to testing.
All of the above documents can be obtained below.

Please note that there will be a non-refundable test fee of $35.00 payable either by cash or money order at the time of testing.  Under no circumstances will an applicant be allowed to test without payment and the appropriate completed paperwork. A successful 9-1-1 Telecommunicator must be able to follow explicit instructions under stressful situations! Likewise, failure to comply with any of the above instructions will disqualify the applicant from testing and the subsequent selection process.

You will be contacted when your application is received to schedule a testing time.

Hurricane Sandy 10/30/12 - 13:00 LCDPS Briefing / SITREP

posted Oct 30, 2012, 10:03 AM by Brian Melcer

Current EOC Status :

Deactivated.  9-1-1 center will return to normal staffing at 16:00 hrs on 10/30/12.
Shelter Status :
None open at this time.  American Red Cross has established shelter and DRC sites if necessary. 
Incidents of Significance :
Trees down / wires down multiple areas of county (see below for detail).  No major road closures.   Penn Power reports 138 customers without power in entire county (as of 12:51 via outage web site)
Storm Related Call Summary 10/29-10/30 :  
DEBRIS - 3, ELEC (wires down) - 19,  SERV (Service Call) - 2, TLO (Traffic Light Out) - 3, TREE - 17

Current Weather Summary    :               

    Rain (Light)  46 deg, Daily Precip .63", approx 2" total

    Wind   ENE 4mph current    Gust  WNW 31 mph    Avg  E 2 mph

    No river/stream gauges nearing flood stage


Current Posture :

    EMA demobilizing.  Will continue to monitor through 9-1-1 center.

    Note for EOC Staff               :           You can stand down at this time.

    Note for Municipal EMA’s      :           Report any significant damage or unmet needs to EMA via 9-1-1 center at 724-656-9300

    Note for first responders       :           9-1-1 center to return to normal staffing at 16:00 hrs 10/30/12
Attached is the latest briefing from the NWS regarding Hurricane Sandy.


Executive Summary:

-Post-tropical Sandy period of greatest risk is over outside the following counties:  Preston, Tucker, Garrett, and eastern Monongalia. 

-High Wind Warning and Flood Watch have been cancelled.

- Blizzard Warning remains in effect through this evening for Preston, Tucker, and Garrett Counties.

- Winter Weather Advisory:  Monongalia, Marion, eastern Westmo and Fayette


•Heavy/wet snow- Another 6-12 inches forecast above 2000 feet in the Blizzard Warning Area through tonight.  1-3 inches forecast for the ridges of eastern Westmoreland and Fayette Counties through tonight.

•River Flooding:  Youghiogheny River at Sutersville

•River Flood Advisory:  Pittsburgh

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