Alternative 9-1-1 Emergency
Thursday, May 11, 2023
2 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 31, 2023
11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, June 8, 2023
Deadline for Questions:
3 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, June 16, 2023
3 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Estimated Award Decision/Notification:
Allegheny County Department of Human Services
One Smithfield Street Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Acronyms and Definitions
The RFP at a Glance
Section 1: Why We Are Issuing this RFP
Section 2: What We Are Looking For
Section 3: Proposal Requirements and Evaluation Criteria
Section 4: How to Submit a Proposal
Section 5: How We Will Evaluate Your Proposal
Section 6: Contract Requirements for Successful Proposers
Appendices A and C are at the end of this RFP. Appendix B can be found on the RFP
Opportunity Page and on the solicitations webpage.
Appendix A: Alternative 9-1-1 Emergency Response Planning Process
Appendix B: Building a Crisis System
Appendix C: Map of A9ER Pilot Sites, as of 4/1/2023
Acronyms and Definitions
Unless the context indicates otherwise, the following capitalized words are defined as follows for
purposes of this RFP:
1. Agreement: A contract negotiated between Allegheny County and the Successful
Proposer to provide the Contract Services
2. Allegheny County: A home rule county and political subdivision of the Commonwealth
3. Allegheny County Emergency Services (ACES): Allegheny County Emergency Services
is a County agency whose mission is to support the citizens and first responders of
Allegheny County through prevention, preparation, protection, response and recovery
from manmade and natural all-hazard emergencies and acts of terrorism. ACES oversees
9-1-1, Emergency Management, the Fire Academy and the Fire Marshall’s Office.
4. Alternative 9-1-1 Emergency Response (A9ER): A model in which behavioral health and
human service professionals can respond to certain 9-1-1 calls without police, when those
calls are deemed to not require a law enforcement response based on criteria developed in
partnership with local public safety officials, DHS, community members and national
experts. Alternative 9-1-1 Emergency Response Programs recognize that a traditional law
enforcement or EMS response may not be the best way to resolve calls or address the
behavioral health and human service needs of the subject of the 9-1-1 call.
5. Bonfire: The County’s online procurement software. Proposers must have a Bonfire
account to submit a Response to this RFP.
6. Alternative Response Team: Alternative Response Teams are two-person, trauma-
informed, client-directed and compassionate teams that respond to non-violent 9-1-1 calls
related to quality of life, wellbeing, mental health and substance use instead of, with
and/or after law enforcement.
7. ClientView: DHS’s IT application for client-level data
8. Contract Services: The specific services that the Successful Proposer agrees to provide to
the County in response to this RFP as more particularly described in the Scope of
9. County 9-1-1: The County 9-1-1 Call Center run by Allegheny County Emergency
Services that receives all 9-1-1 calls in Allegheny County and dispatches almost all the
County’s first responder agencies. There are a handful of municipalities, like
Monroeville, which run their own dispatch centers. Calls that come to County 9-1-1 for
those municipalities are transferred to that community’s dispatch center.
10. Crisis: An instance in which someone is presenting with circumstances that require an
immediate outside response, including, but not limited, to acute mental health, substance
use-related and human service events.
11. Crisis Response System: A comprehensive continuum of behavioral health crisis care
comprised of core services and best practices and informed by collaboration with law
enforcement and emergency medical services. Allegheny County's current continuum of
behavioral health services includes: a 24/7 mental health crisis call center, walk-in center,
mobile teams and residential center; a 24/7 substance use walk-in and referral center; a
short-term overnight program for individuals waiting for an inpatient treatment bed; and a
variety of peer-focused services and programs.
12. Crisis Response Stakeholder Group (CRSG): A workgroup convened in September 2020
to address both the overreliance in Allegheny County on emergency services for people
with behavioral health and other human service crises and the racial inequities that persist
throughout the crisis system
13. DHS: [Allegheny County] Department of Human Service
14. DHS Bonfire Portal: A Bonfire webpage specific to the Allegheny County Department of
Human Services where Proposers can view open, past and awarded solicitations released
15. EMS: Emergency Medical Services
16. EMT: Emergency Medical Technicians
17. Follow-Up Teams: Follow-Up Teams will receive resident referrals from the Alternative
Response Team and will help these residents identify and access needed resources.
18. Involuntary Commitment Petition: An involuntary commitment petition is an application
for emergency evaluation and treatment for people who are "dangerous" to themselves or
others due to a mental illness.
19. Information, Referral and Emergency Services (IRES): IRES is an office of the
Allegheny County Department of Human Services. IRES staff include mental health
delegates, who have the responsibility of authorizing or denying an Involuntary
Commitment Petition (301).
20. Monroeville 9-1-1: The Monroeville 9-1-1 Call Center is a “ringdown” center that
receives all Monroeville-based calls from County 9-1-1. Monroeville 9-1-1 dispatches its
own police, fire and EMS agencies and has separate radio channels.
21. Peer: In the context of behavioral health, a peer is a person in recovery who provides
support to another person with whom they share the experience of living with a mental
health and/or substance use disorder.
22. Proposal: A completed Response Form, with specified attachments, submitted in
response to this RFP
23. Proposer: The individual, non-profit organization, or for-profit organization or business
submitting a Proposal in response to this RFP
24. Response Form: The Word document in which Proposers respond to requested
information about this RFP
25. RFP: Request for Proposal
26. RFP Opportunity Page: The Bonfire webpage where the RFP and all supporting
documents are listed and where the RFP submission documents must be uploaded for a
Proposal to be considered for review
27. Successful Proposer: The Proposer(s) selected by the County to provide the Contract
28. Trauma-Informed: An organizational structure and treatment framework that involves
understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma
The RFP at a Glance
The Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS), on behalf of Allegheny County,
is seeking one or more Successful Proposer(s) to staff and run an Alternative 9-1-1 Emergency
Response (A9ER) Program pilot in one or both of two pilot locations (McKees Rocks and
Monroeville/Penn Hills). In this A9ER Program pilot, trauma-informed, client-directed and
compassionate Alternative Response Teams will respond to non-violent 9-1-1 calls related to
quality of life, wellbeing, or a mental health or substance use crisis, either instead of law
enforcement, with law enforcement or after law enforcement. Follow-Up Teams will help
residents seen by the Alternative Response Teams to identify and access needed resources. A
program manager and supervisor will ensure overall and day-to-day quality at the program and
direct service level, respectively.
Proposers may propose to serve one or both pilot areas, however, the Successful Proposer(s)
must have the ability to expand to nearby communities or across a region of the county if the
program is successful. Proposers may propose to operate the Alternative Response Team, the
Follow-Up Team or both. However, if a Proposer is proposing to operate just one of the teams,
they must be prepared to provide the service for both pilot areas. In other words, Proposers may
• Provide all A9ER program needs (Alternative Response and Follow-Up Teams Program
operation, management and supervision) in pilot areas 1 and/or 2, with interest in and
capability of expanding to more municipalities or the entire county.
• Provide only the A9ER Program team operation, management and supervision function
in both pilot areas 1 and 2, with interest in and capability of expanding to more
municipalities or the entire county.
• Provide only Follow-Up Team operation, supervision and program management
functions in both pilot areas 1 and 2, with interest in and capability of expanding to more
municipalities or the entire county.
We expect that this A9ER Program will be an important part of DHS’s crisis prevention and
response system improvements and will help achieve the goals of this improved system,
preventing crises where possible and ensuring those who are in crisis have a place to go and a
person to help them. DHS, public safety officials and community members hope to achieve
progress towards several other goals with this program, including:
• Responding to human service and behavioral health crises with a human service and
behavioral health response.
• Creating more opportunities to offer and support connections to care.
• De-escalating crises in the community.
• Reducing the number of unnecessary ambulance rides and emergency room visits.
• Reducing the time that law enforcement spends on behavioral health-type calls,
especially repeated calls for the same individual.