Emergency Radio System Folded Into 911 Agency

October 23, 2018


First the 911 emergency call and dispatch centers covering Snohomish County were combined to save money and gain efficiency. That task is complete and now the agency that maintains the radios and towers used by police and fire agencies across Snohomish County is being merged into that same dispatch agency. Here’s more on the merger.


The merger takes effect January 1st.

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. This decision will improve efficiency, save resources, and provide seamless operations for emergency radio and 911 systems.

“Public safety has always been our top priority,” said Brad Steiner, Executive Director of SERS. “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 45,000 911 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 Kurt Mills, Executive Director of SNO911. “When someone calls 911, they expect us to all work as a team, and now we are one agency.”

SERS has a small staff (nine full-time employees) with a big mission: it 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 Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive. “I applaud this effort and will continue to look for other ways to support rational consolidation across the county.”

Although SNO911 and SERS have always worked very closely, the merger will bring the two agencies together and allow the sharing of resources and infrastructure, providing for more efficient and cost-effective service.

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