The Valero Refining Company in Benicia made its final $250,000 installment today on its commitment to provide $1 million toward improving radio interoperability in Solano County.
The funding is being used to further interoperable communications between all first responder agencies in the county, focusing on the south end of the county.
“As one of Solano County’s leading corporate citizens, Valero is a committed partner in helping our public safety agencies improve their ability to respond in an emergency” said Solano County Supervisor Linda Seifert.
In December 2008 Valero delivered its first of four scheduled $250,000 checks. The City of Benicia received $100,000 from the 2008 installment to assist the city with its ongoing commitment to improve communications.
“At Valero, we are proud of our partnership with Solano County to protect the health and safety of our community and the efforts to enhance our emergency preparedness and response capability with upgraded communications systems,” said Valero spokeswoman Sue Fisher.
Operating as the Solano Emergency Communications Activity (SECA), the County and the seven cities are working to improve the ability for emergency responders to communicate. Over the last few years, the capabilities of existing communication sites have been expanded, which including the County’s microwave system that provides connectivity to the six dispatch centers in the county.
More recently new control consoles were installed in each dispatch center for access to and control of new countywide interoperability channels and allows patching between all of the UHF and VHF frequencies used by first responders in the county. An additional project is under way to provide dispatch center to dispatch center intercom.
These upgrades were paid for with a combination of Federal grants, funding from SECA participants, as well as Valero’s contribution.
Planning is under way for a countywide strategy, including investing in 700 mhz and 800 mhz facilities to support the national re-banding plan for emergency communications and communications with neighboring counties.