Governor Kathy Hochul has announced state funding will allow local governments the chance to communicate more effectively during a emergency response.
Hochul announced $45 million in state grant funding has been awarded to counties statewide and the City of New York for improving the operability of emergency communications across the State. This funding will enable local governments to expand their ability to communicate, exchange valuable data, and streamline information to enhance collaboration and assist first responders.
“One of the keys to successful emergency response is a communications structure that all responders can depend on to relay important information and improve overall response activities,” Governor Hochul said. “This grant will ensure our firefighters, police officers, EMTs and paramedics, and anyone who responds to a disaster will have the tools and training they need to communicate more effectively and efficiently.”
The State Interoperable Communications Grant, administered by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, has awarded $472 million to municipalities over nine rounds since December 2011.
The Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant is formula based and funded by cellular surcharge revenue. The program has allowed counties to make vital improvements in the way first responders can communicate between each other and different regions of the state using land mobile radio systems.
Each county and New York City can submit applications to fund projects involving infrastructure, equipment, and technology upgrades. Eligible counties can use the funding for various functions, including enhancing emergency response for county, local and municipal public safety organizations, improving capability, improvements in governance structures, operating procedures, infrastructure development, and addressing SAFECOM guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Emergency Communications. This year, multiple counties are adding National Interoperability Channels to the infrastructure, as well as building new towers and land mobile radio systems, and moving to P25 technologies and equipment.
State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy said, “Our emergency responders depend on robust and secure communications systems connecting them to vital information and services. Information sharing between responders allows New Yorkers to get the help they need when it matters most. Our staff remain committed to ensuring effective emergency communications capabilities across the State, and working with our partners to build a stronger, more resilient, and dependable emergency communications infrastructure.”
The fiscal year 2020 State Interoperable Communications grant awards are below:
New York City $6,617,854
St. Lawrence $806,143
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