The governing boards of Snohomish County 911 (SNO911) and Snohomish County Emergency Radio System (SERS) have agreed to merge the two agencies effective Jan 1, 2019.
According to an Oct. 22 announcement from Snohomish County about the merger, the decision “will improve efficiency, save resources, and provide seamless operations” for both the emergency radio and 911 systems.
“Public safety has always been our top priority,” said SERS Executive Director Brad Steiner. “With this merger, SERS will be better positioned to maintain our emergency radio system and ensure our operations are as efficient as possible.”
SNO911 was formed in January 2018 when the Snohomish County’s two 911 centers, SNOCOM and SNOPAC, merged. The consolidation of 911 entities has eliminated roughly 45,000 emergency 911 transfers that previously occurred between the two agencies and has already saved over $600,000 in user fees.
SNO911 serves all of Snohomish County’s 801,000 residents including all 20 law enforcement agencies and 23 fire departments. SNO911 dispatches over 710,000 incidents annually.
“With one administrative structure, we are better positioned to provide excellent service to our residents and all those who find themselves in need,” said SNO911 Executive Director Kurt Mills. “When someone calls 911, they expect us to all work as a team, and now we are one agency.”
According to the announcement, SERS has a small staff of nine full-time employees that supports the radio system used by every police and fire agency in the county. The system includes over 19 sites that provide radio coverage from urban cores to the most remote rural areas of the county. Each year there are several millions radio transmissions on the system, with the ability to operate not only in Snohomish County but also covering portions of our border counties including full interoperability with King County agencies.
“Consolidation of our emergency communications systems is in the best interests of public safety and fiscal responsibility,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “I applaud this effort and will continue to look for other ways to support rational consolidation across the county.”