During emergencies, it's probably a no-brainer to governments and the private sector that there is an inherent responsibility among those who own communications mediums to make sure that all communications are working. Indiana County's commissioners have met recently and learned some good news regarding their own emergency communications. It has become apparent that the project to construct an emergency management radio infrastructure is almost completed, only lacking the final links in the fiber optic cable part of the infrastructure.
In fact, there's only one section of fiber optic cable to be installed before the system is completely in the pink. And, despite the lack of this final step, the system is currently operational.
Tom Stutzman, director of the Emergency Management Agency, said, “We have connectivity today. We're utilizing the path that goes through Armstrong County and, by the end of next week, we'll have, using the county's microwave network, connectivity that gets us from Blairsville to Indiana and avoids that area we're waiting to get completed along Route 119. When that section's complete, we'll have the entire project completed. But that's not going to hold us up in actually implementing because we can use the diversity of the system that we've constructed to bring it up to live without that being done. It shows that the integrity of the system will work even when you're missing a piece of it.”
There's a little bit of bad news in this, however: That last portion that Indiana County must complete has been held up for well over a year, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012. The progress was halted by internal bureaucracies of the companies that own the utility poles upon which the lines feeding the radio system will be placed.
Until the dust settles from the angst over that last little bit of wire, Indiana County will have to resume operating and testing its radio system with an amputated finger.
Edited by Alisen Downey