As the 2011 budget deadline approaches, we realize once again you are faced with the daunting task of making a tremendous amount of difficult decisions. You have our heartfelt respect as you work to find the balance of offering vital services and staffing several departments. We understand that you must determine what can and cannot be eliminated, as well as what can possibly be consolidated in an effort to save us money. We request you to consider some important facts before you make any final decisions regarding some critical public safety items.
In Onondaga County, our residence and businesses are fortunate to have so many volunteers, volunteer their precious time and skills in the Fire and EMS services. It is also impressive to see how well these agencies work together with one common goal: the life and safety of the persons and properties within this county. One of the constants throughout the last 35 years to assist all the public safety agencies in our efforts is the service offered by Onondaga County Sheriff's Office Air One Program.
Air One was initially meant to provide support service to the Sheriff's Department and City of Syracuse Police Department. What has evolved over the years is truly a model for our community and for others to follow. Air support is in place for all Police, Fire and EMS agencies with this one single program. Long before we began to hear the term now often used, this is the first true consolidation effort in Onondaga County; one that can boasts immense success over the years. We are hard pressed to identify any other program in this county that encompasses the variety and expertise of the Air One program. The uniqueness of this program is that it offers so many critical components that no other one service can offer, to included rescue, fire suppression, project live saver and several others. The Air One program provides these services and no other single agency in the area can provide these services.
We have included a video to help explain the program and benefits Air One offers to the residents, emergency responders and their families in our county. I ask that you please take the fewer than 20 minutes this video requires in its entirety prior to making your determinations. The Air One program is truly unique and definitely a crucial part of public safety for Onondaga County and has the support of your 18 Law Enforcement, 22 EMS Agencies and 58 Fire Departments that support it. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this critical matter.