Friday, March 29, 2013

First alarm letter

To: All Ulster County Emergency Services
From: Art Snyder
Date: March 29, 2013
Re: News and Information

Annual DEC Burn Ban – Just a reminder that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s annual burn ban is in effect from March 16 through May 14, 2013. Additional information may be found on the DEC web site:

EMS awards – This year EMS week is May 12-18. All nominations must be received by the EMS Coordinator no later than April 19. For additional information, please contact

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week – Since 1981 the second week of April has been designated National Public Safety Telecommunications Week to recognize the dedication and professionalism of the men and women involved in public safety communications. There are multiple public safety dispatch locations throughout the County, and each one should be recognized and praised for the work they do. It is difficult to identify any one person as “dispatcher of the year”. While some offices are manned by a single person, Ulster County Emergency Communications fields of staff of multiple individuals who function as a team every hour of the day and night. This team effort was never more evident than the active shooter / structure fire incident on Tuesday in Olive. “Everyone Goes Home” is a doctrine of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Together with the police, fire and EMS agencies on scene, the Emergency Services Dispatchers of UC Emergency Communications played a major role on March 26 to ensure this was a reality. This year, National Public Safety Telecommunications Week will be April 14-20. Please take a moment to thank ALL dispatchers for their fine work.

Personnel changes – A fixture of this office for over 30 years, Andy Buboltz has retired. Andy is well known to all the emergency services. He was the evening supervisor, and most recently served as our TAC and training supervisor. Best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement Andy. Another Andrew has been promoted to supervisor. Andrew Cafaldo has become the supervisor of the overnight shift. Robin Venderley joined the staff last fall, and we welcome back Kathy Smith who returned after six years with the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office.

Recruitment and Retention – The statewide open house for the RecruitNY program will be held the weekend of April 27 & 28. This coincides with National Volunteer Week. Additional information may be found on the FASNY web site: If your agency will be hosting an open house that weekend, please send an e-mail to with the dates and times. I’ll put it on our web site and ask the news media to publish the location of participating agencies.

Road closure information – A recurring “area for improvement” in nearly every after action report we do is trying to get accurate and timely information on road closures. This information is essential for re-routing emergency services, coordination with utilities, and alerting the public. We obtain this information from a variety of sources, including emergency service agencies. I’ve already met with the Ulster County Highway Superintendents Association, and am now asking for your help in identifying closed, and re-opened, roadways. We need to identify the municipality, the name of the closed road, and the cross streets (the actual segment that is closed). We are looking to collect this data for use within the 911 Center, and then automatically push it out on a new mobile web page (more below). Ideally, we would like to receive this information via e-mail to (this information will be tracked on a daily basis, not just during a major event or when the EOC is open). Alternatively, it may be relayed via fax to 331-1738, phone or radio. Our staff will also verify the organization reporting the status change.

Twitter feeds – Ulster County is in the process of a major update to the web site. Emergency Services will be provided with a mobile page that condenses the full view content, and more importantly, will be a source of essential information. One component of the new mobile page will be an automatic live feed of CAD dispatches for fire and EMS incidents (police dispatches pose a different problem because of no run cards, so they will not be streamed). In order to stream the data, it will be first going through Twitter. Consequently, the Twitter feed will be phased in over the next few weeks and can be found by following “Ulster County 911”. We have done the necessary work on the front end to minimize the information available via Twitter – it will be less than available over a scanner, and less than the emergency services receives via SMS text.

VIP cards – The volunteer incentive program run through the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce is still available. Information about the program is available by going to; the cards are available through this office.