Public Safety and E911 PDF Print E-mail

Randy Brozenick, Director
Vince Cappo, HazMat Coordinator
Courthouse Administration Building
450 E. Market Street, Suite 104
Kittanning, PA 16201

Mission statement: Our goal is to plan, assign and coordinate all available resources in an integrated program of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery for emergencies of any type, whether from attack,man-made or natural disasters.

The Armstrong County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is an emergency preparedness and response agency, under the direction of the County Commissioners. We are responsible for the planning, assignment and coordination of all available County resources in an integrated program of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from emergencies of any kind whether from attack, man-made or natural sources. Our Agency receives policy direction from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

The agency is structured into two distinct departments, Emergency Management Agency Administration and Hazardous Materials Planning and Response. The department Director is responsible for overall operation of the Agency and Administration. The HazMat Coordinator is responsible for Hazardous Materials Planning and Response respectively.

The County Agency provides assistance to local municipal governments in planning, preparedness and mitigation for all types of natural or man-made disasters. In cases where the local municipality does not have the means to provide emergency response, the agency can provide assistance through mutual aid agreements with adjoining municipalities or directly from County government. Assistance is provided to local EMA Coordinators for Emergency Operations Plans, Weather Watches and Warnings, sheltering and mass care coordination, down stream dam planning and interaction with the Commonwealth. The Agency also provides training and education to local municipal officials, emergency service personnel and the general public on a wide variety of emergency services topics. 


The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a voluntary effort undertaken by the broadcast industry and, federal, state and local governments to alert the public of impending natural and technological disasters. The primary Emergency Alert Stations in Armstrong County are WAVL AM 910 in Apollo and WTYM AM 1380 in Kittanning. Local radio stations monitor the Emergency Alert System and rebroadcast the announcements immediately.

Armstrong County 9-1-1

9-1-1 Quality Improvement Survey
9-1-1 Tape Request Form
9-1-1 Agreement to Provide Text Messaging
9-1-1 CAD Codes
9-1-1 Tour Request Form

We're Open 24/7
Your Vital Link

Ronald Baustert - Coordinator

Courthouse Administration Building
450 E. Market Street, Suite 60
Kittanning, PA 16201

Phone: 724-548-3225
Fax: 724-548-3243

Armstrong County 9-1-1 works in conjunction with the Armstrong County Department of Public Safety and the Sheriff's Office along with 18 police departments, 34 fire companies and 13 ambulance services to provide safety and assistance to Armstrong County citizens. The center also assists other county agencies with after-hours emergencies.

All 22 of Armstrong County's dispatchers are trained in Emergency Medical Dispatch, as well as training related to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Pennsylvania State Police. All dispatchers are certified in CPR/AED and many have certifications in other emergency service training.

History

In 1968 the "Emergency Operating Center" began operations in the basement of of the Courthouse with one dispatcher on duty per shift. The telephone system consisted of an old switchboard from the telephone company. You can still see this switchboard outside our dispatch center today. This original center was for the northern section of the County while Rainbow Control, located in Vandergrift, serviced the southern portion of the County.

In 1989 Rainbow Control merged with the Emergency Operating Center to form Armstrong County 9-1-1 as it exists today. Over the years, the center has grown to three dispatchers working per shift, handling approximately 35,000 police, ambulance, fire and miscellaneous calls per year.

Mobile Command Center

Moblie Command Center

Armstrong County's Mobile Command Center enables dispatchers to work from a disaster site. The Mobile Command Center could also be used as a back-up 9-1-1 Center, in the event that the Center could not function due to unforeseen circumstances.

9-1-1 Addressing Project

The 9-1-1 re-addressing project will make homes and business easier to find for emergency responders and personnel. The enhanced 9-1-1 addressing project has completed 41 of the 45 county municipalities.

Address verifications have been sent to the following municipalities:

  • Apollo Borough
  • Applewold Borough
  • Atwood Borough
  • Bethel Township
  • Boggs Township
  • Bradys Bend
  • Burrell Township
  • Cadogan Township
  • Cowanshannock Township
  • Dayton Borough
  • Elderton Borough
  • Ford City Borough
  • Ford Cliff Borough
  • Freeport Borough
  • Gilpin Township
  • Hovey Township
  • Kiski Township
  • Kittanning Borough
  • Kittanning Township
  • Leechburg Borough
  • Madison Township
  • Mahoning Township
  • Manorville Borough
  • North Apollo Borough
  • North Buffalo Township
  • Parker City
  • Parks Township
  • Perry Township
  • Pine Township
  • Plumcreek Township
  • Rayburn Township
  • Redbank Township
  • Rural Valley Borough
  • South Bend Township
  • South Buffalo Township
  • Sugarcreek Township
  • Valley Township
  • Wayne Township
  • West Franklin Township
  • West Kittanning Borough
  • Worthington Borough

Anyone living in a completed municipality who did not receive a letter or anyone who recently built a home should contact Joyce Traister of Armstrong County 9-1-1 at 724-548-3495 or 1-877-288-2979.

Tours

Armstrong County 9-1-1 welcomes any school, organization, group or individual who wishes to tour the facility. For more information or to schedule a tour please contact Marie Mores at 724-548-3225.

The center receives weather related information, such as severe weather warnings, from PA Star. This allows dispatchers to notify all services throughout the County of severe weather. The center can also contact any County in the Commonwealth by radio, saving time in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Local Emergency Planning Committee

Mission Statement: The mission of the Armstrong County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) is to provide for the safety of the citizens Armstrong County from the perils of hazardous materials. This is done through planning and education of the citizens and facility personnel, as well as coordination with the county emergency response personnel.

The Local Emergency Planning Committee (L.E.P.C.) represents the entire community. We are comprised of representatives from the following groups and organizations:

  • EMA Staff
  • EMS Personnel
  • Fire Companies
  • Local Elected Officials
  • Local print and broadcast media
  • Owners of facilities that are subject to Title III of SARA
  • Police

Objectives of the L.E.P.C.:

  • Identify the hazardous chemicals which are stored, used and or manufactured in the county and determine the health risks they pose to the public
  • Develop a comprehensive emergency plan for each facility and to keep them updated
  • Receive information pertaining to accidental chemical releases
  • Collect, manage and provide public access to information pertaining to hazardous material in and around the county
  • Ensure an appropriate response should an actual emergency occur.

Pennsylvania Community and Work Right-to-know Law:

Passed in 1984, this Pennsylvania law has important community right-to-know provisions that have been upheld by the courts. These provisions go beyond emergency response agencies which are covered by federal legislation to cover individual citizens. Upon written request, any person living or working in Pennsylvania (except business competitors) can obtain pertinent information for an employer by contacting the Department of Labor and Industry.

Hazardous Operations Support Team

Mission Statement: The primary mission of the Armstrong County Hazardous Operations Support Team (HOSTeam) is to provide a variety of services and equipment to respond to hazardous operations events in Armstrong County, to assist local responders with equipment, technical expertise and to provide support services to Armstrong County Memorial Hospital.

We have recently branched out into a new area of response. This new endeavor has been named the HOSTeam. This team is designed to support decontamination, rehabilitation services and or technical rescue support by providing trained personnel and a standard cache of equipment to be used during an event where decontamination, rehab services and or technical support is required.

Participating agencies include:

  • Armstrong County Board of Commissioners
  • Armstrong County Emergency Management Agency
  • Armstrong County Memorial Hospital
  • Armstrong County Police, Fire and EMS Services
  • Local Emergency Planning Committee
  • PA Region 13 Regional Counter-Terrorism Task Force

Team personnel consists of:

  • Local Emergency Management Coordinators
  • Firefighters
  • Rescue Personnel
  • Paramedics
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Local Law Enforcement Officers.

All members are considered volunteers except for county officials.

If you are interested in joining the HOSTeam and understand the infrequency of calls, are able to remain calm in chaotic situations, are willing to meet the minimum training requirements which include: HazMat Operations, Defensive Practices and WMD Terrorism Awareness and are willing to commit to the success of the HOSTeam, please contact Vince Cappo at 724-548-3429.

PA Region 13 Working Group Regional Counter-Terrorism Task Force

The idea for the region 13 Working Group came from the explanation of the ideas and philosophies developed during three years of discussion in the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Task Force. It was realized that during any significant incident, the entire region could be called to assist local responders. As a result of terrorist incidents in other parts of the country, it was realized that the terrorists do not care about geographical boundaries. The terrorists will plan and practice in the remote, isolated areas within any geo-political jurisdiction. Therefore it was determined that the work of the Pittsburgh/Allegheny Task Force needed to continue, but there was a significant need to bring other counties together.

Mission Statement:

  • To formalize regional mutual aid and intergovernmental agencies to respond to WMD events, chemical emergencies and other man-made and natural disasters
  • Establish an interoperable communications system within the region and Western PA for all emergency response agencies
  • Develop a specialized equipment resource pool specific to WMD responses to be utilized throughout the region
  • Ensure specialized WMD training is available to all Emergency Services Personnel and support agencies as necessary
  • Apply for grant funding for special acquisitions and projects as a group
  • Foster positive networking of information, technical applications, law enforcement intelligence and incident prevention while forming solid relationships of all group members and participants
  • Develop Regional Response and intelligence Protocols and procedures
  • Develop the ability to deliver highly trained and equipped teams of responders capable of minimizing the effects of a terrorist incident within the region
  • Build on the group's WMD preparedness and response to a system that provides the region an enhanced ability to more effectively and efficiently respond and mitigate other man-made and natural disasters.

Members of the Region 13 Workgroup include:

  • Allegheny County
  • Indiana County
  • Armstrong County
  • Lawrence County
  • Beaver County
  • Mercer County
  • Butler County
  • Somerset County
  • Cambria County
  • Washington County
  • City of Pittsburgh
  • Westmoreland County
  • Fayette County
  • FBI - Pittsburgh
  • Greene County
  • Pennsylvania EMA

Other participants include:

  • Allegheny County EMS Council
  • PA State Fire Commissioner
  • Allegheny County Community College
  • PA State Police
  • Allegheny County Health Department
  • Pittsburgh Poison Center
  • Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms
  • Sharon Regional Health System
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Center for Disease Control
  • US Attorney Generals Office
  • Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pa
  • US Coast Guard
  • FBI
  • US Department of Defense Active and Reserve
  • FEMA
  • US Department of Justice
  • Mercy Health System
  • US Department of Transportation
  • National Weather Service
  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • PA Department of Environmental Protection
  • US Postal Service
  • PA Department of Health
  • US Public Health Service- Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP)
  • PA Department of Motor Vehicles
  • US Veterans Office (NDMS)
  • PA Department of Transportation
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • PEMA
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Centers
  • Emergency Medical Services Institute
  • West Penn/Allegheny University Hospitals
  • PA Human Relations Commission
  • PA WMD Group III
  • PA National Guard

To the credit of all Region 13 Working Group members, the organization has been recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Domestic Preparedness Office as a model organization for inter-governmental cooperation in fighting the threat and consequences of terrorism.

The Armstrong County Board of Commissioners, as well as the Department of Public Safety are proud to be members of this organization.

West Nile Virus Program

In 2000 West Nile Virus appeared for the first time in Pennsylvania, affecting birds, mosquitoes and a horse. To combat the spread of West Nile Virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, Pennsylvania developed a program which includes trapping and testing mosquitoes. As part of the program, certain dead birds are collected and tested as well. The program also includes testing blood samples from humans, horses and sentinel chicken flocks. Once a mosquito sample is obtained, it is sent to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) laboratory in Harrisburg, where it is identified by species and tested for the presence of the West Nile Virus. Blood samples are sent to the Department of Health for testing.

While obtaining mosquito samples and blood samples from horses and sentinel chickens is important, a key element of the program is mosquito control. For the control portion of the program, we use a variety of pesticides to eradicate larval and adult mosquito populations.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is not spread from person to person, it is only transmitted to people when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then bites a person. Although the chances of being bitten by an infected mosquito are small, WNV is serious and has infected over 4,000 people in the United States. Less than 1 percent of people infected by the virus will develop severe illness. Fatality rates range from 3-15 percent and are highest among the elderly. Even if you are bitten by an infected mosquito, your chances of becoming seriously ill are small. WNV rarely causes illness or death in humans, but it is possible.

Most people infected with WNV have no symptoms. People with mild or no symptoms do not need to be treated. If symptoms do occur, they may not show up for 3-5 days after being bitten. Some people infected may develop mild symptoms much like that of the flu including fever, headaches, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a body rash. Statewide for the 2006 season there have been five human cases identified.

The few people who develop encephalitis may have severe symptoms such as headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma. If you experience these symptoms contact a physician or hospital immediately. It is important to remember that in rare cases West Nile Virus can be fatal.

Armstrong County's West Nile Virus Program

This year the county has contracted Clarke Mosquito Control, Inc. for the 2006 WNV season to conduct mosquito surveillance and larval control of mosquito breeding sites.

To date they have submitted over 350 mosquito samples and 4 dead bird carcasses that were obtained from various locations. The virus has not been detected in Armstrong County.

Residents are urged to ensure they are doing everything possible to prevent potential breeding sites. Preventive measures include:

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have collected on your property
  • Pay special attention to discarded tires. Stagnant water in tires is where most mosquitoes breed
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors
  • Have clogged roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains. Roof gutters can produce millions of mosquitoes each season
  • Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. Stagnant water in a wading pool becomes a place for mosquitoes to breed
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and do not let water stagnate in birdbaths. Both provide breeding habitats for domestic mosquitoes.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens can become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools not in use. A swimming pool left untended by a family on vacation for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Mosquitoes may also breed in the water that collects on pool covers.

Questions regarding the WNV program in Armstrong County should be directed to Vince Cappo. For more information pertaining to West Nile Virus, please visit Pennsylvania's West Nile Virus site.

Community Awareness Day

Ten ways that you can be involved:

  1. Become knowledgeable about today's drugs. Know the signs and symptoms of use and common paraphernalia.
  2. When you suspect drug and alcohol use, confront it. Refer people who need help to ARC Manor.
  3. Establish clear standards and expectations about the use of alcohol and other drugs.
  4. If you see suspicious drug-related activities in your neighborhood, report it.
  5. Attend seminars or ask for a speaker to meet with your organization, school, church or workplace to better understand and how to intervene with domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and drug and alcohol abuse.
  6. If you hear or witness a domestic violence incident, child abuse or sexual assault call 911.
  7. When it is safe, support victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and refer them to HAVIN.
  8. If you have a family member or friend who is violent, confront them, tell them that their conduct is not acceptable and refer them to a batterer's intervention program.
  9. If you have reason to suspect a child is a victim of abuse and neglect, report it. If a child discloses that they are being abused the most important thing is to believe them and then report it.
  10. Become a mentor to youth. Contact the local Big Brothers/ Big Sisters group about mentoring opportunities at 724-763-4181.
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