Proposition 1 – Nov. 6 Election Facts
Almost 20 years ago community leaders came together to ensure your call to 911 is heard and brings help. As happens with most things, time has worn down this system making it less dependable and outdated. Aging equipment has led to outages including a failure in January that lasted nearly 20 minutes.
Compounding this problem is the lack of parts to replace failing components and manufacturers will stop supporting much of the equipment in 2020. Most jurisdictions similar in population to Snohomish County have already or are in the process of upgrading their emergency communication radio system. If Snohomish County leaves the system as it is, it will ultimately:
- Delay life-saving services
- Increase safety risk to citizens & first responders
- Decrease communication & understanding of resources needed at an emergency
Calling the aging 911 radio system the most important public safety issue facing Snohomish County, County Council members voted unanimously to place a request on the November ballot for an additional 1/10th of 1% in sales tax to fund radio system upgrades. A majority of voters must agree for this funding to be available.
If approved, technological advances in this first phase of improvement will:
- Reduce risk of 911 failure
- Provide equipment supported by manufacturers
- Move from analog to digital
- Double call capacity
- Improve inter-agency communication in the event of a regional disaster like the landslide in Oso or the school shooting in Marysville
Much more is left to do! Stable funding will ensure first responders always hear the call.
Can you remember a computer or cell phone like these? This was the technology when Snohomish County’s 911 Emergency Radio System started in 2001. While some parts have been upgraded, the majority of the almost 20-year-old components are still in use today.
Electronics, like most anything else, eventually degrade becoming less and less reliable until they just stop working. Many parts are no longer available for the 911 emergency radio system. In 2020 several manufacturers will no longer offer technical support. Newer digital technology provides better reliability to hear the call when you, your family or your neighbor needs help.