Major Failure of Cellular Providers to Maintain Infrastructure

In the wake of the widespread damage and power outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias cell service is suffering in Rockland County and around the region creating a critical public safety issue. The Rockland County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division and Facilities Management team have been working non-stop to maintain the Rockland County Public Safety Communications System. The system provides radio communication to police, fire, EMS, and other emergency responders in Rockland County and is comprised of 15 primary sites.

“Our team has been busting their butts, trekking through deep woods to get to some of these sites, refuel the generators and keep our system operational. But our first responders will not have the opportunity to respond to an emergency if that 9-1-1 call never reaches our dispatch center in the first place,” said County Executive Ed Day. “During these maintenance trips they’ve discovered cell towers from major providers with dead backup batteries, generators with no fuel and no teams from these companies even attempting to get them up and running. This is a complete dereliction of duty on the part of these companies and is completely unacceptable.”

The Rockland County Executive’s Office has received anecdotal reports of poor service through the County and of no cell service at all in portions of North Rockland.

“This is an incredible public safety hazard that if not corrected quickly could result in the serious injury or death of our residents. Anyone should be able to use their cell phone to call 9-1-1 and get the help they need in an emergency. Our Office of Fire and Emergency Services has been reaching out to these cell carrier’s operations centers to urge them to get to work and I am now publicly doing the same. What’s going on right now with cell service in Rockland and other localities dealing with the aftermath of Isaias is negligent and these companies must take immediate action,” concluded County Executive Day.

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