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Updated 07/2014

Emergency Communication Services and Facilities

Contents

Introduction

This page is part of a series of pages on Emergency Management and Disaster Planning. It provides information from the major agencies, programs and systems governing emergency communications from federal and state agencies. An overview is provided on local government regional emergency communications facilities in table format. Where information is available governance and interlocal agreements for the formation of the regional systems and intergovernmental service contracts are provided.

Emergency Communications Overview

Some of the major agencies, programs and systems governing emergency communications are noted in this section.

Federal Emergency Notification Programs

Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP)

911 Systems

Emergency Telephone Notification Systems (ETNS)

    Wireless and Radio Communications

    Regional Emergency Communications Facilities

    The table below lists some of the emergency radio communications and dispatch centers. Some are county-wide some serve more than one county. Most of the centers have been created through interlocal agreements and have separate governing bodies; some are county services provided through interlocal service agreements. For a listing of all the 911 centers see Public Safety Answering Point/911 Centers in Washington State, APCO-NENA (Washington State Chapter of Association of Public Safety Communications Officials and National Emergency Number Association)

    Jurisdiction Service Formation Members Governing Board
    Benton County, Southeast Communications Center (SECOMM) Emergency management (Benton County Emergency Management) & communications services (SE Communications Center), 800 MZ Administered by Richland Created under RCW 39.34 Benton County, Kennewick, Richland, Benton City, West Richland, Prosser Executive Board, Director, employees, contracts with Richland for Services
    Chelan-Douglas County RiverCom 911, 2002 Public Safety Answering Point Created under RCW 39.34 Interlocal Agreement () Serves 30 public safety agencies in Chelan and Douglas Counties User Agencies
    User Agreement
    Five voting board members, 8 exofficio board members
    Clark County, Clark Regional Emergency Service Agency (CRESA), 1976 as CRCA, named changed 2001 911 Dispatch, Regional Communications, Emergency Management, Emergency Medical RCW 39.34
    Interlocal Agreement (), 2001
    User Agencies Clark County, Battle Ground, Camas, La Center, Ridgefield, Washougal and Yacolt, Vancouver Clark County FDs 1,3,6,9,10,11,12,13 and 14, North Country EMS, Cowlitz & Skamania FDs #7 Governed by an Administrative Board comprised of nine board members serving indefinite terms. Administrative Board
    Clallam County, Peninsula Communications (PenCom), administered by City of Port Angeles, 1992 Consolidated emergency communications and records management center RCW 39.34 Port Angeles Police and Fire Departments, Clallam County Sheriff's Department, Sequim Police Department, Lower Elwha Tribal Police, La Push Tribal Police, Olympic National Park Rangers, and four rural fire protection districts Oversight by City of Port Angeles
    Cowliz County, Communications Center (911), 1975 Consolidated 911 call answering and emergency dispatch service for police, fire and emergency medical services Created Under RCW 39.34
    Interlocal Agreement ()
    Castle Rock, Castle Rock Fire and EMS, Cowlitz County FPD No. 1,2,3,4,5,6, Clark County FP No.2, Cowlitz County, Kalama, Kelso, Longview, Woodland, AMR (American Medical Response - contracted with Cowlitz) 911 Council composed on one elected official from each jurisdiction
    Grant County, Multi-Agency Communications Center, 1995 Consolidated Dispatch Created under RCW 39.34
    Interlocal Agreement ()
    Soap Lake, Mattawa, Warden, Ephrata, Moses Lake, Electric City, Royal City, Grand Coulee, Coulee City and Quincy; Grant County FPD Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 Board of Directors, Elected Administrator
    Grays Harbor Communications Center, 1989 Consolidated Dispatch Created under RCW 39.34 Serves 39 agencies 7 member administrative board of county & cities; operating board; and sub committees; Executive Director
    Island County Emergency Services Communications Center(I-COM) 911, Consolidated Dispatch Created under RCW 39.34 Provide emergency to all of the law enforcement, fire and emergency medical agencies that serve Island County (both Whidbey and Camano Island). Board of Directors, Executive Director, employees
    King County, Eastside Public Safety Communications Agency (EPSCA), 1992 Agency is responsible for developing, owning, operating and managing a geographical subregion of the King County Regional Emergency Radio Communications System. Ch. 39.34 RCW, Effective March 1, 2013, the Agency was restructured as a nonprofit organization pursuant to Interlocal Cooperation Act
    Interlocal Agreement ()
    Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland Mercer Island, and Issaquah Executive Board (Board), which is composed of the Chief Executive Officers of the Principals
    Bylaws
    King County, North East King County Regional Public Safety Communications Agency (NORCOM), 2008 911, consolidated dispatch Ch. 39.34 RCW 19 Agencies - Police Departments : Bellevue, Clyde Hill, Kirkland, Medina, Mercer Island
    Fire Departments: Bellevue, Bothell, Duvall Fire District 45, Eastside Fire & Rescue, Fall City Fire District 27, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Northshore Fire Department, Redmond, Shoreline Fire Department, Skykomish Fire Department, Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Pass Fire & Rescue (Fire District 51), Woodinville Fire & Rescue
    A 15-member Board governs the Agency and appoints an Executive Director to administer its services
    King County, Valley Communications Center, 1976 Develop, own, operate and manage a geographical sub-region of the King County Regional Emergency Radio Communications System Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW
    Interlocal Agreement ()
    Auburn, Federal Way, Kent Renton and Tukwila, Vashon Island Fire & Rescue Administration and Operations Board Bylaws
    King County, Valley Communications Center Development Authority, 2000 Issue debt for financing the construction and equipping of a new dispatch facility for Communications Center Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW and RCW 35.21.730-.755 Auburn, Federal Way, Kent Renton and Tukwila, Vashon Island Fire & Rescue Board of Directors of cities and FDs, Executive Director
    Kitsap County, CENCOM (Kitsap County Central Communications), 1976 Consolidated Dispatch Created under RCW 39.34 Partner Agencies Board of 13 elected officials representing Kitsap County, the Cities of Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Poulsbo, and the Kitsap County Fire Commissioners Association
    Kittitas County, KITTCOM (Kittitas County 911, 1990 Emergency Radio Communications System Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW
    Intergovernmental Agreement ()
    Kittitas County Sheriff's Office, Central Washington University Police, Ellensburg Police, Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue, Kittitas County Hospital District 2, Cle Elum Police and Fire, Kittitas Police and Fire, Roslyn Fire, South Cle Elum Fire and Fire Districts 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 Elected Board members, 2 appointed board members, appointed administrator
    Jefferson County, JeffCom 911, 2007 911 Dispatch Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW Provides services to: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Port Townsend Police Department, East Jefferson Fire & Rescue, Port Ludlow Fire & Rescue, Brinnon Fire, Quilcene Fire, Discovery Bay Fire Jefferson County Emergency Management Administrative Board
    Lewis County 911 Communications Center 911 Dispatch for Lewis County County initiated - Agreements with participating agencies Provides services to: 10 Law Enforcement Agencies (Including the Sheriff’s Office), 20 Fire Departments, 1 Private Ambulance Company, Other agencies with radio traffic monitored at the Center Under Central Services Administration
    Mason County, MACECOM 911, 1982 911 Dispatch for Mason County Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW Partners Nine member governing board; 5 elected, 4 appointed
    Okanogan County, Okanogan Communications Center 911 Dispatch for Okanogan County County initiated - Agreements with participating agencies Serves 32 Law, Fire, and EMS agencies Okanogan Sheriff's Office
    Pacific County Communications PACCOM Enhanced 911(E911) Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for All 911 Calls Placed in Pacific County, Consolidated Dispatch Center for All Police, Fire & Emergency Medical Aid Calls in Pacific County Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW Consolidated Dispatch Center for All Police, Fire & Emergency Medical Aid Calls in Pacific County, 5 Law Enforcement Agencies (Including the Sheriff’s Office and the Shoalwater Tribal Police); 12 Fire Departments,1 Private Ambulance Company, Other Agencies Whose Traffic is Monitored at the Center include Washington State Patrol, Pacific County Dept. of Public Works, Pacific County Jail, and the National Warning System Administrative and Operations Boards are both formed by representatives from the various participating agencies to the interlocal agreement. An appointed coordinator operates under the Pacific County Sheriff. See also Pacific County Code Ch. 8.32 - Emergency Service Communications District for South Beach area (Grayland, North Cove, and Tokeland vicinity)
    Pierce County, South Sound 9-1-1, 2011 911 and dispatch, records and technology services, and a regional, interoperable first responder radio system Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW Interlocal Agreement () Through its member agencies – Pierce County, the City of Tacoma, the City of Lakewood, the City of Fife, and West Pierce Fire & Rescue – South Sound 911 will provide combined 911 and dispatch services for 16 law enforcement agencies and 22 fire departments Two governing boards: The Policy Board and the Operations Board. The Policy Board is comprised of nine elected officials which collectively provide legislative and policy direction for the agency. The 12-member Operations Board is comprised of partner agency police and fire chiefs who provide operational oversight and direction.
    Skagit County, Skagit 911 (Formerly SECOM), 1998 County-wide public safety Communications Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW
    Snohomish County, SNOPAC 911 (Snohomish County Police Staff and Auxiliary Service Center), 1973 A regional public safety communications center that receives law enforcement, fire and medical 9-1-1 calls Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW
    Interlocal Agreement ()
    37 different Snohomish County jurisdictions: See List Board of directors
    ByLaws
    Snohomish County Emergency Radio System (SERS), 1999 Develop, finance, acquire, install, operate, maintain and repair an 800-megahertz emergency radio communications system Created Under Ch. 39.34 RCW Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Woodway, Snohomish County Fire District No. 1, and Snohomish County 11-member Board appointed by the cities and County
    Snohomish County, Southwest Snohomish County Communications Agency (SNOCOM), 1971 Provides emergency 911 dispatch services to nine jurisdictions Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Woodway, and Snohomish County Fire District No.1 Board of directors
    Spokane Regional Emergency Communications Systems (SRECS) County-wide Emergency Radio System Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW The SRECS Project supports all Law Enforcement and Fire Agencies in Spokane County Participating Agencies 14 member Emergency Services Communication Policy Board
    Thurston County TCOMM 9-1-1
    Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW
    Interlocal Agreement ()
    26 Public Safety agencies An eight member Administration Board was created made up of elected officials representing the jurisdictions that are parties to the Intergovernmental Agreement serving on the Board
    Walla Walla County, (City of) Walla Walla Dispatch (Walla Walla Emergency Services Communications WESCOM), 1994 911 call answering City facility providing services through interlocal agreements College Place Fire Department, Walla Walla Sheriff's Office, Walla Walla Police Department, Walla Walla Fire Department, College Place Police Department, Rural fire districts 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 & 8 Director under City Manager, Walla Walla Emergency Dispatch Center Communications Advisory Committee (one representative from each agency using the service)
    Whitman County, WHITCOM (Whitman County Regional Communication Center), 2006 A consolidated E-911 dispatch center Created under Ch. 39.34 RCW
    See initial agreements below
    City of Pullman, Washington State University, Whitman County, the city of Moscow, Idaho, and Asotin County, Washington Governed by a six-member Executive Board composed of two voting members from each governing agency: Whitman County, Washington State University and the city of Pullman. Asotin County and the city of Moscow have nonvoting ex-officio members. The Board appoints a Director

    Regional Communication Facilities Additional Documents

    A few documents have been listed which show some of the initial steps in creating the facilities through interlocal agreements.

    Benton County BCES

    • Agreement between Benton County Emergency Management (BCEM) and the City of Kennewick - Provides that the BCEM will provide access to its 800 MHZ radio system, 06/2000

    King County Regional 800MHz Trunked Radio System

    • King County Regional Communications Board
    • Interlocal agreement among city of Seattle, city of Tacoma, Eastside Public Safety Communication Agency (Epsca), King County, Snohomish County Emergency Radio System (SERS), and Valley Communications Center for the Puget Sound Next-Generation Voice/Data Switch Project (PSIC Grant # eos-354), King County Signature Report, July 26,2010, Ordinance 16894

    Snohomish County Emergency Radio System (SERS)

    Snohomish County Emergency Radio Systems (SERS), a public nonprofit corporation pursuant to chapter
    24.06 RCW and IRC 501(c)(3) was established via an interlocal agreement in 1999 with the Cities of Brier,
    Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo and Woodway, and the
    County. The purpose of SERS was to design, develop, finance, acquire, install, operate, maintain and repair and
    replace the county’s public safety communications service.

    • Interlocal Financing Agreement (Adobe Acrobat Document) by and between Snohomish County and the City of Edmonds, Washington, 10/01/1999
    • Snohomish County Ordinance No. 99-086 (Adobe Acrobat Document) - provides for the issuance and sale of limited tax general obligation bonds of the county in the aggregate principal amount of not to exceed $30,000,000

    South Sound 9-1-1

    • Pierce County Resolution No. 2011-84 () - Authorizes an interlocal agreement with the City of Tacoma, the City of Lakewood, and Pierce County Fire Protection District No. 3; Provides for the creation and operation of an Emergency Communications Agency Named South Sound 9-1-1, passed 07/05/11
    • Ballot Measure () For funding through a Sales And Use Tax, November 2011 General Election
    • South Sound 9-1-1 Archive Center - Provides Agreements, Budget, Finance, Resolutions, Motions of Policy and Operations Boards, Newsletters and reports

    Valley Communications Center

    • Federal Way Ordinance No. 00-369 () - Approves the formation of the Valley Communications Center Development Authority, 04/2000
    • Exhibit A () - Kent Ordinance No. -- Approving Charter and Bylaws
    • Exhibit B () - Charter of the Valley Communications Center Development Authority
    • Tukwila Ordinance No. 1912 () - Approves formation of the Valley Communications Center Development Authority to acquire, construct and equip the Center through the issuance and servicing of long term debt, 4/2000

    Walla Walla Emergency Services Communications (WESCOM)

    • City of Walla Walla Amended Agreement () with Walla Walla County for the establishment and operation of an E-911 Public Safety Answering Point provided by the city, 11/2004

    WHITCOM Communications Center

    The Whitman County Regional Communication Center (WHITCOM), located in Pullman provides Emergency 9-1-1 communication services to citizens in Whitman County, Asotin County and the city of Moscow, Idaho. The Center is governed by a six-member Executive Board composed of two voting members from each governing agency: Whitman County, Washington State University and the city of Pullman. Asotin County and the city of Moscow have nonvoting ex-officio members. Whitman County provides administrative support. The city of Pullman provides Human Resources.

    • Pullman Resolution No. R-18-04 () - Authorizes an agreement between Pullman, Whitman County and Washington State University to create WHITCOM, an independent agency, to operate the Whitman County Enhanced 911 Emergency Communications and Dispatch Center. WHITCOM includes Whitman County and surrounding areas under jurisdiction of contract subscribers, including Moscow, Idaho and Asotin County, 03/2004
    • Pullman Resolution No. R-19-04 () - Authorizes an agreement between Pullman, Whitman County, Washington State University, and Asotin County for WHITCOM to provide Emergency Communications and Dispatch Services to Asotin County for initial period of 5 years with a 5 year renewal. WHITCOM includes Whitman County and surrounding areas under jurisdiction of contract subscribers, including Moscow, Idaho and Asotin County, 03/2004
    • Pullman Resolution No. R-4-04 () - Authorizes an agreement between Pullman, Whitman County, Washington State University, and Moscow, Idaho for WHITCOM to provide E911 services and complete dispatch Services to Moscow, Idaho for initial period of 3 years with 2 one year extensions. WHITCOM includes Whitman County and surrounding areas under jurisdiction of contract subscribers, including Moscow, Idaho and Asotin County, 01/2004
    • Pullman Resolution No. R-84-13 () - A resolution authorizing the execution of an interlocal agreement by and between the city of Pullman, Whitman county, and Washington State University for enhanced 911 emergency communications and dispatch system (Agreement included), 11/2013

    Misuse of 911 Call System

    • Misuse and Abuse of 911 by Rana Sampson, Problem-Specific Guide Series No. 19, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice, 2002 - Posted on Center for Problem Oriented Policing
    • Edmonds Municipal Code Ch. 5.21- Misuse of the 911 or Emergency Call System
    • Okanogan County Code Ch. 9.12 - Abuse of 911 System

    Additional Resources

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