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Department of Emergency Services



911 Joint Communications Division Has Successful Annual Inspection
47,066 Emergency 911 Calls


Earlier this month, the Allegany County 911 Joint Communications Division successfully completed the annual inspection by the Emergency Number Systems Board (ENSB).  This is an important achievement because the successful completion is required for state and federal funding. The ENSB provides funding for 9-1-1 system enhancements, equipment replacements, and training to ensure reliable and adequate capacity is available for 9-1-1 service.  

The 911 Center receives all incoming calls to 9-1-1 for help in emergencies. The 911 Center manages the dispatching of the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Cumberland Police Department, and fire and emergency medical services units in Allegany County to the scene of the emergency. The 911 Center also receives standard business related non-emergency calls.  

The 911 Center operates 24/7, 365 days a year and strives to provide the highest standard of care to citizens and visitors in emergency situations. Last year the 911 Center answered 219,013 calls for service and approximately 20% of these, 47,066, were for 9-1-1 emergency help. The 911 Center’s average time to answer a 9-1-1 call was 4.6 seconds and this is within the national standard.Of note, Allegany County Government maintains two different facilities, a primary and a secondary back up, to serve as the 911 Center and provide this essential, life-saving service. 

Allegany County diligently worked to secure over one million dollars of funding, specifically, $1,097,903.87, from the ENSB for 12 projects this year.  There was a $925,921.00 telephone system update at the 911 Center to keep pace with evolving technology. The Emergency Medical Priority Dispatch System, which provides protocols for prioritizing responses of vehicles and personnel, was implemented at a cost over $90,000. and a backup battery system for the 911 Center cost over $60,000. The remaining projects included training exercises and materials, noise canceling headsets, security cameras, etc.  

Allegany County 911 Joint Communications Division Chief Roger Bennett manages 29 staff members at the 911 Joint Communications Center: 25 full-time dispatchers, one part-time dispatcher, two quality assurance staff members, and one radio technician.

Emergency Medical Priority Dispatch System 
A new system at the Allegany County 911 Joint Communications Center will benefit Allegany County’s citizens and visitors in emergency situations. The Emergency Medical Priority Dispatch System is an example of the Allegany County Commissioner’s commitment to emergency services. The Priority Dispatch System provides protocols for prioritizing responses of vehicles and personnel. With the use of this system the 9-1-1 dispatchers can improve their management of emergency services response resources. Specialized, equipped vehicles and trained, equipped, personnel are limited and valuable. Over, the goal is to accurately assess each emergency situation and have the best possible response with appropriate vehicles and personnel. This is a comprehensive system which has been proven to reduce cost and reduce risk for all involved. Read More

Fire Prevention

Fire prevention tips were presented by Susan M. Lee, Emergency Management Division Chief, and Clarence B. Broadwater, Vice-President, Allegany-Garrett Counties Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association, at the Allegany County Commissioner’s public business meeting on October 10. Left to right:Commissioner William R. Valentine, Commissioner Creade V. Brodie, Jr., Lee, Broadwater, and Michael W. McKay, President of the Board of Commissioners.

Prevent Kitchen Fires!
More fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the house. National Fire Prevention Week is October 6 – 12. Take a minute now to read fire safety tips – you may prevent an injury or even save a life. Learn More.

September is National Preparedness Month.

The Allegany County Department of Emergency Services is focusing on one emergency preparedness step each week: Stay Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Get Involved. This information  will also be posted at Visit the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) website,, throughout the year.

Emergency Water Supply Guidelines Brochure
Water is an essential element to survival and a necessary item in an emergency supplies kit. Find out how you can build a supply of water that will meet your family’s requirements during an emergency.
Download Brochure

Emergency Services Utilizes Social Media: Get Information Direct From The Source
In addition to traditional print and broadcast media, the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services now is utilizing Facebook and Twitter to inform the general public according to Richard L. DeVore, Department Director. This applies to all four divisions in this department: 911 Joint Communications, Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services, and the Animal Control & Shelter. 
Read More

Summer Season Safety Information 
The Allegany County Department of Emergency Services is alerting individuals to important seasonal safety information. Summer is the time of extreme heat and thunderstorms associated with power outages. Help yourself and your loved ones. Take time to review this life-saving safety information:  Extreme Heat Safety Tips  , Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car  , Severe Weather Preparedness  If you have questions, please call the Department of Emergency Services, 301-876-9155.


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