Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Unveils Statewide Standards First Proposed in Governor’s 2017 State of the State Oneida County Department of Emergency Services First Awardee to Achieve Accreditation in New York
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York State Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program, the first of its kind state-level program for local emergency management agencies in the nation. The program, developed in partnership with the New York State Emergency Management Association, was outlined in the Governor’s 2017 State of the State and includes a series of standards that local emergency management offices must meet to obtain this unique accreditation.
“New York is leading the way to ensure that our emergency management professionals have the best training to respond quickly and effectively to any disaster that may arise,” Governor Cuomo said. “This first-in-the-nation program will serve as a model for how states and local governments can partner effectively to confront public safety challenges, and I encourage all counties to pursue this premier accreditation to help keep communities across New York safe.”
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner John P. Melville said, “The accreditation program is another example of the effort to further advance the discipline of emergency management in New York State. This achievement demonstrates to citizens that their county has a professional and progressive emergency management program in place to protect New Yorkers in the event of a man made or natural disaster. I congratulate the Oneida County Department of Emergency Services on their great work.”
Kevin Wisely, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Services and Director of the State Office of Emergency Management, said, “I am proud to partner with NYSEMA in the first in the nation emergency management accreditation program for localities. This program establishes credible standards for local emergency management offices and ultimately builds a better framework for a stronger emergency management program throughout New York State.”
The accreditation program is intended as a mechanism to help highlight and promote proactive local emergency management agencies in New York State. Accreditation is valid for five years, with an opportunity to obtain re-accreditation after the five year period.
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Emergency Management and the New York State Emergency Management Association piloted the program with the Oneida County Department of Emergency Services over the past several months. Officials from Oneida County worked with the program’s assessors who evaluated the overall proficiency of their agency in 21 different standards.
Oneida County’s emergency management policies and practices met or exceeded the standards in all primary aspects of emergency management including administration, training, citizen preparedness, use of the incident command system, emergency communications, NY Responds, damage assessment, debris management and incident recovery. The Oneida County Department of Emergency Services is the first county emergency management office in New York to achieve accreditation under the program.
Kevin Niedermaier, New York State Emergency Management Association President and Livingston County Emergency Management Director said, “The accreditation program has long been a priority for NYSEMA, as it helps to recognize the importance of emergency management and the agencies willing to go the extra mile to achieve accreditation. This program provides for a strong foundation from which emergency management can continue to build upon."
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. said, “When we consolidated our 911 system and invested in Emergency Management it was with the goal to make Oneida County safer and more proficient when dealing with local emergencies. Today’s accreditation is a testament to that investment. I’m proud we can serve as a model for counties throughout the state and nation. I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for the creation of this accreditation program with an eye on how to best to confront a variety of public safety challenges.”
Kevin Revere, the Director of the Oneida County Department of Emergency Services said, “We found the accreditation process to be very valuable, and It is gratifying to be the first county in New York State to obtain the accreditation. I want to thank Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente for his assistance and for encouraging us to pursue this important milestone in the protection of the citizens of Oneida County". "I also want to thank my team for their hard work and the State Office of Emergency Management and NYSEMA for creating this opportunity.”
Local emergency management offices that are interested in obtaining this accreditation will need to compile and/or develop the policies, plans and documents necessary to meet accreditation standards. Any documentation that is required will be shared or uploaded to the NY Responds web portal so that materials can be reviewed in advance of the on-site review. Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and New York State Emergency Management Association will provide technical assistance during the preparation phase and once all of the requested materials have been obtained, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will select a team of at least two experienced assessors to conduct the review.
The review will include the further examination of any necessary plans and documentation, and interviews with the Emergency Manager, staff, and others, if necessary. It will be incumbent on the emergency management office to demonstrate, document, and articulate how they meet each of the standards and associated criteria. Local emergency management offices wishing to receive certification should complete the application form and submit it to the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
Additional information about the New York State Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program – including program guidance, eligibility, and standards – can be found here.
About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and its four offices -- Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications -- provides leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov.
(Photo: Terry Hastings, Senior Policy Advisor, DHSES, Kevin Niedermaier, NYSEMA President and Livingston County Emergency Management Director, Kevin Revere, Director of Emergency Services Oneida County, Dan Appler, Deputy Director Oneida County Emergency Services, Fred Lampman, Deputy Director Oneida County Emergency Services, Kevin Wisely, DHSES Deputy Commissioner and OEM Director)