DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE/COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICE SERVICES
NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY OF DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT DRAFT FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW REGIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY RADIO SYSTEM
EASTERN SHORE OF VIRGINIA – ACCOMACK AND NORTHAMPTON COUNTIES, VA
Interested parties are notified the Department of Justice (DOJ) through the Community Oriented Police Servies (COPS) Program issued a draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), based on an Environmental Assessment (EA) provided by the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Commission (ESVA 9-1-1 Commission). The purpose of the EA is to assess the effects on the human and natural environment on the ESVA 9-1-1 Commission’s implementation of a new radio system (serving local public safety and other local governmental communications needs) for which the COPS program is providing funding assistance approved by the United States.
The proposed project, the implementation of a P25, trunked, digital, simulcast regional radio system, will utilize towers/facilities located at the following locations: 1. American Communications Tower (located at/around 6150 Community Drive, Chincoteague, VA), 2. Town of Chincoteague/CPD Tower (located at/around 6150 Community Drive, Chincoteague, VA), 3. Accomack County Tower (located at around 14306 Lankford Highway, Mappsville, VA), 4. Accomack County Tower (located at/around 23323 Wise Court, Accomac, VA), 5. Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Center facility (located at/around 23201 Front Street, Accomac, VA), 6. Commonwealth of Virginia/State Police Tower (located at/around 23201 Front Street, Accomac, VA), 7. County of Accomack Tower (located at/around 32198 A S West Road, Craddockville, VA), 8. Northampton County Water Tower (located at/around 5211, The Hornes, Eastville, VA), and, 9. Commonwealth of Virginia/State Police Tower (located at/around 20371 Seaside Road, Eastville, VA).
Public safety agencies on the Eastern Shore of Virginia (ESVA), including law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, and 9-1-1/dispatch utilize wireless communication networks as a critical aspect of their operations. These uses of the radio systems, with older/antiquated disparate systems used in the ESVA region, include communications to/from dispatch and field personnel, as well as communications between field personnel operating at an emergency incident. The current radio systems in the ESVA region are older and degrading with frequent performance issues, such as coverage gaps and a lack of needed interoperability for different public safety disciplines. Operating on the current, inefficient radio systems not only impacts public safety personnel, but their ability to best serve the public and their critical needs during emergencies. A properly performing radio system provides this increased coverage, efficiency, and effectiveness to operations, thereby promoting the public’s safety and their welfare; which is the purpose of this project.
The purpose of the Draft EA is to analyze the potential environmental impacts associated with the use and needed construction at the identified tower sites/locations. The draft FONSI, from the COPS program, affirms the proposed action will not have a significant impact on the human and natural environment. The draft EA and draft FONSI will be made available for review at the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Commission at 23201 Front Street, Accomac, VA 23301. The draft FONSI also can be viewed at the 9-1-1 Commission’s website at www.esva911.org. The public notice is being published in the Eastern Shore Post and at the tower sites/locations identified. The ESVA 9-1-1 Commission invites the public to comment on the proposed action during a thirty (30) day comment period, which will conclude on November 26th, 2023. Written comments may be mailed to: ESVA 9-1-1 Commission, 9-1-1 Director, P.O. Box 337, Accomac, VA 23301. Comments also may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 757-787-1044. If no substantive comments are received, the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) will become final, leading to a Final Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) being issued.
9-1-1 Communications Officer
The Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Commission is now accepting applications for the position of 9-1-1 Communications Officer. The qualified applicant will work rotating shifts, including days, nights, weekdays, weekends, and holidays, as well as fill in shifts as needed. 9-1-1 Communications Officers are responsible for answering 9-1-1 calls, verifying the callback number and address of the emergency, determining the nature of the emergency and transferring the call or dispatching the appropriate emergency response unit as required, as well as other associated duties.
Minimum qualifications are a high school diploma or equivalent, including some experience in keyboarding or typing. Applicants must be able to speak clearly and distinctly, understand and follow detailed directions, act quickly and effectively during emergencies, and operate complex telecommunications equipment. Desirable qualifications include two years’ experience in law enforcement, fire, or emergency medical services, and/or public safety dispatching. Applicants selected for employment will be subject to a background investigation and drug screening.
Applications may be obtained at the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Communications Center, 23201 Front St. Accomac, Va. 23301, by visiting www.esva911.org, or by using this fillable form link: https://forms.gle/oBhgBsv97a2uJAdW8 (requires a Google account).
There were two open house, informational presentations held at the ESVA 9-1-1 Center on November 2nd, one at 10:00 AM and one at 6:00 PM. These 30-minute sessions help describe the position of a 9-1-1 Communications Officer and provide candidates with an opportunity to ask questions prior to applying.
For more information, please contact the 9-1-1 Center at 757-787-0911.
Applications are due by Friday, November 24 at 5PM. The ESVA 9-1-1 Commission is an equal opportunity employer.
Regional Radio System Manager
The Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Commission is recruiting an experienced individual to serve as the full-time Regional Radio System Manager for the new regional radio system being implemented (five RF sites, P25, trunked, 700MHz). This newly created position will manage and administer the daily operations and functionality of the regional radio system, ancillary systems, communications sites, and other aspects of the regional radio system. Minimum qualifications include a high school diploma or GED and five (5) years of directly related work experience in public safety with experience in managing, operating, and maintaining a two-way radio communications radio system, microwave, electronic systems and 9-1-1 technology systems; any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities above is acceptable. Professional certifications/achievements, such as, but not limited to, NENA Emergency Number Professional certification, or APCO Registered Public Safety Leader certification, or others, may be beneficial to this position. This position is subject to a background investigation and drug screening. Interested individuals are requested to submit a cover letter and resume with salary expectations and professional references to the Director of the 9-1-1 Center, at email@example.com, mailed to P.O. Box 337, Accomac, VA 23301, or at the 9-1-1 Center, 23201 Front Street, Accomac, VA 23301. The position description and position recruitment profile (with additional details on the hiring process and anticipated hiring range) can be found via the below links. Any inquiries about this position should be directed to: Jeffrey Flournoy, 9-1-1 Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 757-787-0909. The ESVA 9-1-1 Commission is an equal opportunity employer.
Eastern Shore 9-1-1 Commission Issues Award
for 700MHz Radio System Connectivity Network
To Williams Communications, Inc.
The Eastern Shore 9-1-1 Commission, upon completion of negotiations of Eastern Shore of Virginia's RFP #911-22-001 for the Connectivity Network, has awarded a contract to Williams Communications, Inc.
Eastern Shore 9-1-1 Commission Issues Notice of Intent to Award
for 700MHz Radio System Connectivity Network
To Williams Communications, Inc.
The Eastern Shore 9-1-1 Commission, upon completion of evaluations of Eastern Shore of Virginia's RFP #911-22-001 for the Connectivity Network, has issued an Intent to Award letter to Williams Communications, Inc.
Jeffrey Flournoy, ESVA 9-1-1 Commission, 9-1-1 Director
May 1, 2023
Eastern Shore of Virginia Regional Radio System
700MHz Radio System
January-February 2023 - Introductory Sessions Provided to Local Agencies by L3Harris and ESVA 9-1-1
March 2023 - Surveyed Agencies for Various Portable Radio and Pager Needs
April 2023 - Site Visits to Participating Agencies to Define Control Station and Mobile Radio Requirements
April 2023 - Captured Portable Radio Needs Based on Apparatus Type and/or Seat Capacity During Site Visits
May 2023 – Participated in a “Detailed Design Review” (DDR) with L3Harris to review system design and identify items for final acceptance of the DDR process
October 2023 – Participated in a “Detailed Design Review” (DDR) with Williams Communications to review connectivity system design (microwave/fiber backhaul)
October 2023 – Conducted Fleet Map training for Radio Systems Committee; began initial fleet mapping design
Eastern Shore 9-1-1 Commission
Awards Contract for 700MHz Radio System
To L3Harris Technologies, Inc.
The Eastern Shore of Virginia (ESVA) 9-1-1 Commission, on behalf of the Counties of Accomack and Northampton, has awarded a contract for the design, implementation, delivery, and maintenance of 700 MHz P25 Phase 2 public safety radio system to L3Harris Technologies, Inc. The commission approved the contract award on December 22, 2022, and its Chairman executed the contract documents following the Commission’s special meeting. The contract sets in place a project to develop a 700 MHz radio system using the latest technology and to deliver new mission critical mobile and portable radios to fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies for use over a 15-year project period. Implementation is expected to take 24 months. Public safety personnel will be briefed on the project in early 2023.
Funding for the project will come from an $8.245 million federal Community Project Funding grant administered by the Department of Justice (COPS grant program), other smaller grants, and local funds from Accomack and Northampton Counties.
L3Harris Technologies (L3Harris) is an American technology company, defense contractor, and information technology services provider that produces C6ISR systems and products, wireless equipment, tactical radios, avionics and electronic systems, night vision equipment, and both terrestrial and spaceborne antennas for use in the government, defense, and commercial sectors. They specialize in surveillance solutions, microwave weaponry, and electronic warfare. It was formed from the merger of L3 Technologies (formerly L-3 Communications) and Harris Corporation on June 29, 2019. L3Harris competed for the project through a Request for Proposals.
Notice of Intent to Award
Contract for 700MHz Radio System
Serving Accomack and Northampton Counties
The ESVA 9-1-1 Commission, upon completion of evaluations of Eastern Shore of Virginia’s RFP #911-21-001 for a 700 MHz radio system project, has issued an Intent to Award letter to L3Harris Technologies, Inc.
Jeffrey Flournoy, ESVA 9-1-1 Director
September 23, 2022
Eastern Shore 9-1-1 Planning to Acquire 700MHz Radio System
In 2020, Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 began a planning effort to procure a new radio system to serve Accomack and Northampton County fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies. The Commission engaged CTA Consultants to study system needs and recommend actions to procure a needed system. Following acceptance of CTA’s report, the 9-1-1 Commission issued Request for Proposals (RFP) #911-21-001 in October 2021 seeking proposals from qualified vendors. Proposals from two vendors were received. The Regional Public Safety Radio System Committee (RPSRSC), in addition to its planning input and direction, was tasked with evaluating the vendor proposals and subsequently making a recommendation to the 9-1-1 Commission regarding contract award. The RPSRSC will continue to be involved in system design and implementation once a contract is negotiated and awarded. Contract award is expected in Fall 2022.
Accomack and Northampton Counties Receive Federal Grant for 700MHz Radio System
In April, Rep. Elaine Luria delivered an $8.2 million CPF award to replace the Accomack and Northampton Counties public safety radio communications system with reliable, integrated, mission-critical voice and data communications for first responders and law enforcement. One of the largest Community Project Funding (CPF) awards in the country, the state-of-the-art radio system will improve communications for emergency responders and make our communities safer.
"Today, Fire, EMS, and Law enforcement personnel in the Eastern Shore of Virginia counties are operating on older public safety radio systems, with coverage issues and an overall lack of interoperability. The funding included in the FY22 federal budget towards the building and implementation of a new state of-the-art regional public safety radio system for our region will provide much improved communications for our emergency responders, ultimately leading to safer communities for those in our region. The efforts by Representative Luria and others, in securing funding for this needed project in our region, are appreciated," said Jeffrey Flournoy, Director of the Eastern Shore 911 Commission.
Accomack and Northampton Counties Regional Public Safety Radio Communications System
Recipient: Accomack County and Northampton County
Project Description: The funding will replace the entire Accomack and Northampton Counties public safety radio communications system with public safety grade, reliable, integrated, mission-critical voice and data communications for first responders and law enforcement.
Accomack and Northampton Counties Achieve Compliance with
Virginia’s Marcus Alert System Through Rave 911 Suite and Smart911
The Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Communications Center, in coordination with the Accomack and Northampton County Sheriff’s Offices, Chincoteague Police Department, and Eastern Shore Community Services Board (CSB), announced on August 6 that the Eastern Shore of Virginia is in compliance with Virginia’s Marcus Alert System, which established statewide mental health awareness response and community understanding services, through its use of Rave Mobile Safety’s Rave 911 Suite and Smart911.
The Marcus Alert System legislation mandates a set of protocols to initiate a behavioral health response to a behavioral health crisis, including for individuals experiencing that crisis secondary to mental illness, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, or any combination thereof. It requires that, by July 1, 2021, every locality in Virginia establishes a voluntary database to be made available to the 9-1-1 alert system and the Marcus Alert System to provide mental health information and emergency contact information for response to an emergency or crisis.
Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Communications Center was already in compliance thanks to its ongoing use of Rave 911 Suite and Smart911, a national service that allows individuals to provide 9-1-1 call takers and first responders with critical information through a Safety and Vulnerable Needs Profile. When residents sign up for Smart911, their Safety Profiles display on the 9-1-1 screen and allow 9-1-1 call takers to view key information, like addresses, mental health and medical information, photos, emergency contacts and more. Residents are in complete control of what information is included in their Safety Profile and can choose which information they want shared with 9-1-1.
With the Rave 911 Suite, the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Center, Accomack County Sheriff’s Office, Northampton County Sheriff’s Office, and Chincoteague Police Department also have access to capabilities like call notes, caller location and chat functionality—all of which help the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s First Responders provide better informed response to residents.
“Smart911 will be a great resource for First Responders to assist an individual who is experiencing a mental health crisis,” says John Konkel, Emergency Services CIT Coordinator, Eastern Shore of Virginia Community Services Board.
Individuals are encouraged to create their free Safety Profile with Smart911 today to have their information immediately available to 9-1-1 and to receive emergency notifications. Smart911 is private and secure, and information is only made available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call. To create a Smart911 profile for yourself and your family, visit www.smart911.com. You may also download the free mobile app from either Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices. For profile assistance or questions, individuals may contact the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Center’s non-emergency line at (757) 787-0911 or e-mail email@example.com.
Craig Hudson Recognized for
9-1-1 Telecommunications Support
On December 3rd, 2020, at the December ESVA 9-1-1 Commission meeting, Craig Hudson (left) was presented a Resolution of Appreciation from the ESVA 9-1-1 Commission from 9-1-1 Director Jeffrey Flournoy.
For many years prior to his retirement in early 2020, as one of his duties as a Verizon employee, Craig provided assistance to the ESVA 9-1-1 Center (generally behind the scenes) to maintain the critical operations of 9-1-1 telephone services for Accomack and Northampton Counties, thus helping to assure the protection and well-being of residents and visitors in our region.
Thank you Craig… we wish you well in your retirement!
We’re Here for You… Dial 9-1-1 for Any Emergency!
Chairman Donnie Kellam & Krista Kilmon
Kilmon Certifies as Registered Public-Safety Leader
Krista Kilmon, Senior 9-1-1 Communications Officer, recently achieved certification as a Registered Public Safety Leader (RPL) by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO). The RPL program is designed for individuals seeking to develop a solid foundation of management and supervisory skills necessary for successful 9-1-1 Center and dispatch operations and is a year-long training and certification program. The certification includes skills related to managing organizations and change, communicating with clarity and confidence, building connections and consensus, enhancing team performance, and ultimately applying learned skills to better the 9-1-1 and dispatch profession. Krista will be recognized formally at the APCO International Conference in August 2020. Kilmon began her career with the 9-1-1 Center in 2006, being promoted to Senior 9-1-1 Communications Officer in 2014.
Tonya Blake Recognized for 9-1-1 Service
Communications Officer Tonya Blake called an end to her shifts as a Communications Officer in early 2020 in the face of health issues. The 9-1-1 Commission presented a Resolution of Appreciation for her service with the following highlights:
WHEREAS, Tonya Blake has served the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Commission since 2010 as both a part-time and full-time 9-1-1 Communications Officer; and
WHEREAS, Tonya Blake is a proficient and competent 9-1-1 Communications Officer and demonstrates this on a regular basis; and
WHEREAS, Tonya Blake, serving as a 9-1-1 Communications Training Officer for the 9-1-1 Center, is a crucial contributor towards the development of new 9-1-1 Communications Officers; and
WHEREAS, her colleagues, serving alongside her on the dispatch floor for the last decade, will miss her, her professionalism, and her overall positive demeanor; now,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Commission does hereby adopt this Resolution of Appreciation and thanks 9-1-1 Communications Officer Tonya Blake for her lengthy service to the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Center.
Tanya Blake & Chairman Donnie Kellam
Mariner Recognized for
Outstanding Service As 9-1-1 Commissioner
On August 1st, 2017, a Resolution of Appreciation was presented to William “Bill” Mariner for his years of service on the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Commission. Bill was a charter member of the 9-1-1 Commission, serving since its inception in 1990 until his recent passing on August 6th, 2017, just several days after the Resolution was presented. For twenty-seven years, Bill, as a member of the Greenbackville Volunteer Fire Department, represented Accomack County EMS on the 9-1-1 Commission. The picture on the right, from the presentation on August 1st, includes (from left to right), Jeffrey Flournoy (Director for the 9-1-1 Center), Donald Kellam (Chairman of the 9-1-1 Commission), Scott Chandler (Consultant for the 9-1-1 Center), and Ben Byrd (9-1-1 Commissioner), with Bill Mariner seated, holding the Resolution.
9-1-1 Center Upgrades Emergency Call Handling Equipment (CHE)
The Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Commission recently installed and upgraded its telephone call handling equipment (CHE) to facilitate the handling and processing of emergency calls for the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Center. The new equipment and software, known as Emergency CallWorks, was provided by Motorola Solutions. Emergency CallWorks’ solution provides an advanced, next-generation version of 9-1-1 that is capable of moving beyond voice-only calls by processing multimedia information into the call flow. Its browser-based workstation architecture eliminates proprietary 9-1-1 switching hardware, simplifies operations and provides cost-effective system implementation, allowing for remote monitoring, service and support, with continuous delivery of innovative new features. The system provides additional integrated mapping features to improve call handling by communications officers.
Additionally, new telephones utilizing voice over internet protocol (VoIP) were installed to support Emergency Operations Center functions. That system is provided and supported by NeuBeam, a local internet and telephone vendor.
9-1-1 Commission Deploys Simulcast Radio Dispatch and EMS Operations Channels
The Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Commission placed a simulcast radio system for F1 (Rescue Dispatch) in operation during June 2015. The system allows transmitters at multiple sites to be keyed simultaneously to deliver dispatch traffic shore-wide. Previously, three separate transmitters were used based on the geographic location of the call. When simulcasted, dispatches and radio messages cover all areas; incidents in multiple geographic areas do not have to be replicated. Additionally, the Commission deployed a simulcast EMS operations channel that moves EMS radio transmissions from the dispatch channel during July 2015. The EMS Operations channel utilizes multiple repeaters to broadcast 9-1-1 radio traffic and rebroadcast field communications shore-wide. As the EMS Operations channel was readied for operations, field radios were reprogrammed.
Atlantic Communications was awarded the contract to provide, deliver, install, and integrate the new simulcast dispatch radio system and perform related tasks.
Eastern Shore 9-1-1 Center is NOAA Weather–Ready Nation Ambassador
The Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative is an effort to formally recognize NOAA partners who are improving the nation’s readiness against extreme weather, water, and climate events. Eastern Shore 9-1-1 Center is committed to work with NOAA and other Ambassadors to strengthen national resilience against extreme weather. Additional information regarding Weather-Ready Nation can be found on the National Weather Service website:
Amendments Through April 2023 Incorporated
ESVA 9-1-1 Assumes 9-1-1 Services for Town of Chincoteague
On Monday, November 18, 2013, the Eastern Shore of Virginia 9-1-1 Communications Center transitioned and began receiving 9-1-1 calls that were previously routed to and processed by the Town of Chincoteague. The Eastern Shore 9-1-1 Center will transfer any police related calls to the Chincoteague Police Department for dispatch, but will directly dispatch fire and EMS calls to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company (Station 3).
On October 21, 2013, Chincoteague Town Council voted to transition Chincoteague’s 9-1-1 services and the dispatch of Station 3 to the ESVA 9-1-1 Center. The last several weeks have included planning for the transition and the development of an agreement between the Town of Chincoteague and the ESVA 9-1-1 Commission.
Non-Emergency Phone Numbers: (757) 787-0911, 824-0911, 442-0911
Administration: (757) 787-0909
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Last Updated November 14, 2023