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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 lcema@co.lawrence.pa.us 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 http://www.lcfirstresponder.com/.  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

ATTN FIRE DEPARTMENTS:

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 www.osfc.state.pa.us. For questions regarding PennFIRS On-Line, please contact the OSFC at 800-670-3473 or email ra-pennfirs@state.pa.us.  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

Threats

•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

Hurricane Sandy 10/29/12 - 23:00 LCDPS Briefing / SITREP

posted Oct 29, 2012, 7:42 PM by Brian Melcer

Current EOC Status :

Minimal staffing (EMA STAFF).  9-1-1 staff increased at 20:00.
 
Shelter Status :
None open at this time.  American Red Cross has established shelter and DRC sites.  
 
Incidents of Significance :
Trees down / wires down multiple areas of county.  No major road closures.   Penn Power reports 176 customers without power in entire county (as of 22:40 via outage web site)
 

Current Weather Summary    :               

    Rain (Light-Moderate)  39 deg, Daily Precip 1.32"

    Wind   WNW 4 mph current    Gust  WNW 32 mph    Avg  WNW 8 mph

    No river/stream gauges nearing flood stage

    ** NOTE : LCDPS sent inquiry to NWS Pittsburgh regarding status of New Castle (Shenango River) gauge.  They reported on 10/27/12 that it is fully functional.

 
Current Posture :

    Monitoring local area, will distribute briefings as information is received

   

    Be prepared to sustain your own operations for at least 72 hours.  Support measures that help citizens do the same.

 

    LCDPS will continue to participate in regular state, regional and local briefings.

    Note for EOC Staff               :           No activation requested at this time---continue to make arrangements for potential activation and to implement 12 hour shifts for your assigned position.

    Note for Municipal EMA’s      :           Conference call for local EMA's was conducted at 18:00 on 10/29/12.  Summary was sent out to coordinators via email.

    Note for first responders       :           9-1-1 Center staffing enhanced starting at 20:00.  Center currently operating in storm mode.
 
Attached is the latest briefing from the NWS regarding Hurricane Sandy.

 

 Executive Summary:
Post-tropical Sandy will bring significant impacts to our region.
- High Wind and Blizzard Warnings along with a Flood Watch are in effect.

Threats
- Wind- Sustained 25-35 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph. This may lead to downed trees and power outages across the area.
- Flooding- Small creeks, streams, and areas of poor drainage through Tuesday and then rivers possibly later this week.
- Heavy/wet snow- Elevation dependent with currently 8-14 inches forecast above 2500 feet. Small changes in Sandy’s track and ultimately temperatures could still lead to significant changes in this forecast. Blizzard conditions will occur in the highest elevations.
- Significant impacts will begin this evening, with the strongest winds and heavy rain through Tuesday morning. Wind damage may lead to power outages across the area.
- Farther west (eastern Ohio) you live the less likely you are to be impacted by heavy rain.


Hurricane Sandy 10/29/12 - 15:00 LCDPS Briefing / SITREP

posted Oct 29, 2012, 11:50 AM by Brian Melcer   [ updated Oct 29, 2012, 12:03 PM ]

 

Current EOC Status :

Not Activated

Shelter Status :

None.  American Red Cross coordinating with established sites.  LCDPS has identified potential location for DRC as per PEMA Request on 10/27/12.

Incidents of Significance :

KC Event ID 22411 – Commercial SARA Facility Structure Fire – INMETCO  Ellwood City Borough.  Currently contained.

Current Weather Summary    :               

    Rain (Light-Moderate)  41 deg, Daily Precip .56”

    Wind   NW 9 mph current    Gust  NNE 22 mph    Avg  NW 9 mph

    No river/stream gauges nearing flood stage

    ** NOTE : LCDPS sent inquiry to NWS Pittsburgh regarding status of New Castle (Shenango River) gauge.  They reported on 10/27/12 that it is fully functional.

Current Posture :

    Monitoring local area, will distribute briefings as information is received

   

    Be prepared to sustain your own operations for at least 72 hours.  Support measures that help citizens do the same.

 

    LCDPS will continue to participate in regular state, regional and local briefings.

    Note for EOC Staff               :           No activation requested at this time---begin to make arrangements for potential activation and to implement 12 hour shifts for your assigned position.

    Note for municipalities           :           Ensure readiness of equipment.  Ensure fuel capabilities.   Please attempt to clear storm drains of leaves to possibly reduce flooding potential.

    Note for Municipal EMA’s      :           There will be a Local EMA conference call to be held this evening at 18:00 hrs.  Separate information will be distributed regarding call-in information.

    Note for first responders       :           Lawrence County 9-1-1 will go to enhanced staffing starting at 20:00 this evening.  Please encourage residents to NOT call 9-1-1 for utility outages—instead, they should be calling the local power company.

Attached is the latest briefing from the NWS regarding Hurricane Sandy.

 

 Executive Summary:
Post-tropical Sandy will bring significant impacts to our region.
- High Wind and Blizzard Warnings along with a Flood Watch are in effect.

Threats
- Wind- Sustained 25-35 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph. This may lead to downed trees and power outages across the area.
- Flooding- Small creeks, streams, and areas of poor drainage through Tuesday and then rivers possibly later this week.
- Heavy/wet snow- Elevation dependent with currently 8-14 inches forecast above 2500 feet. Small changes in Sandy’s track and ultimately temperatures could still lead to significant changes in this forecast. Blizzard conditions will occur in the highest elevations.
- Significant impacts will begin this evening, with the strongest winds and heavy rain through Tuesday morning. Wind damage may lead to power outages across the area.
- Farther west (eastern Ohio) you live the less likely you are to be impacted by heavy rain.


Hurricane Sandy - 10/28/12 13:00 LCDPS Briefing / Sitrep

posted Oct 28, 2012, 9:14 AM by Brian Melcer

Current EOC Status :

Not Activated

Shelter Status :

None.  American Red Cross coordinating with established sites.  LCDPS has identified potential location for DRC as per PEMA Request on 10/27/12.

Incidents of Significance :

None

Current Weather Summary    :               

    Rain (Light-Moderate)  41 deg, Daily Precip .48”

    No river/stream gauges nearing flood stage

    ** NOTE : LCDPS sent inquiry to NWS Pittsburgh regarding status of New Castle (Shenango River) gauge.  They reported on 10/27/12 that it is fully functional.

Current Posture :

    Monitoring local area, will distribute briefings as information is received

    LCDPS will participate in PEMA Conference call today at 15:00

 

Attached is the latest briefing from the NWS regarding Hurricane Sandy.


Executive Summary

  • Post-tropical Sandy is still forecast to impact our area.
  • Watches for flooding, high wind, and snow are now in effect.
  • Threats-

      Flooding- Small creeks, streams, and areas of poor drainage early this week then rivers possibly later this week.

      Wind- Sustained 25-35 mph with gusts as high as 60 mph.

      Heavy/wet snow- Possible in the higher elevations of MD/WV.

  • The time window of any significant weather should be late Monday through Thursday. The heaviest rainfall and strongest winds will occur from Monday night through much of the day Tuesday. 

Hurricane Sandy - 10/27/12 13:00 LCDPS Briefing / Sitrep

posted Oct 27, 2012, 9:56 AM by Brian Melcer

Current EOC Status :

Not Activated

Shelter Status :

None

Incidents of Significance :

None

Current Weather Summary                  

    Rain (Light-Moderate)  46 deg, Daily Precip .28”

    No river/stream gauges nearing flood stage

    ** NOTE : LCDPS sent inquiry to NWS Pittsburgh regarding status of New Castle (Shenango River) gauge

Current Posture :

    Monitoring local area, will distribute briefings as information is received

 

                                                                                               

 

Attached is the latest briefing from the NWS regarding Hurricane Sandy.

 

NWS Pittsburgh Core Partners,

Please see the attached summary graphic and weather briefing package for more information on the impacts of Sandy on our region.

---------

Executive Summary

  1. A much cooler air mass has arrived with an arctic cold front.  Temperatures will continue to decrease over the weekend.
  2. The remnants of Sandy still are forecast to have significant impacts on the Upper Ohio Valley.
  3. Threats- The most widespread threat across the area will be for very heavy rain and flooding.  Heavy rain may lead to flooding creeks and streams early this week and rivers later this week.  Heavy wet snow will be possible in the higher elevations and strong winds will be possible across the area.
  4. Snow looks more to be an impact for the ridges, first accumulating on grassy surfaces and then potentially on roads. Snow accumulation this time of year will largely be dependent on the ground temperature.
  5. The time window of any significant weather should be late Monday through Thursday. 

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