Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Livingston County Office of Emergency Management, the New York City Emergency Management Department, and the Broome County Office of Emergency Services have achieved accreditation as part of the Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program. First proposed in the Governor's 2017 State of the State, the accreditation program is the first of its kind state-level program for local emergency management agencies in the nation. Livingston County, New York City, and Broome County join Oneida County as the first four emergency management organizations to achieve this status in the state.
"This accreditation helps ensure that our public safety organizations receive the most up-to-date training and have the best procedures in place when responding to an emergency," Governor Cuomo said. "These organizations have demonstrated their competency in 21 different standards, and I encourage other agencies to pursue this designation and join us in creating a stronger, safer and more secure New York."
The program, developed in partnership with the New York State Emergency Management Association, includes a series of standards that local emergency management offices must meet to obtain this professional accreditation. The State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services administers the program on behalf of the Local Emergency Management Accreditation Council, which serves as the governing body for the program. Livingston County, New York City and Broome County received recognition for their respective achievements at the 2018 New York State Emergency Management Association Winter Conference attended by emergency management professionals from across New York State.
"The Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program is another example of the state's strong partnership with the New York State Emergency Management Association and commitment to the emergency management community, and I applaud the organizations recognized today for their leadership," said Roger L. Parrino, Sr., Commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. "Local emergency management agencies in New York State now have state-level standards to work toward and demonstrate their competency. This program is helping to raise the bar and further advance the discipline of emergency management."
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 reaccreditation after the five-year period.
Michael Ponticiello, Director of the Broome County Office of Emergency Services said, "We are always working to make Broome County and its residents more resilient. Helping our community to prepare for and respond to disasters is a key function of our Emergency Management Program. Being one of the first counties in the state to complete the accreditation process is exciting and affirms that we have the right programs in place to be at the forefront of Emergency Management in New York."
Kevin Neidermaier, Director of the Livingston County Office of Emergency Management said, "We have worked hard to develop a strong emergency management program here in Livingston County, and this accreditation validates our effort. I want to thank the County leadership and our numerous other partners as well, as this would not be possible without their continuous help. I would especially like to thank County Administrator Ian Coyle for allowing me the flexibility to take the Office of Emergency Management virtually in any direction needed to accomplish this goal."
Joseph Esposito, Commissioner of the NYC Emergency Management Department said, "This official recognition highlights NYC Emergency Management's tireless work to help New Yorkers before, during and after emergencies. We are proud to be among the first four emergency management agencies to receive this accreditation, and we will continue our efforts to develop innovative and proactive approaches to disaster preparedness, education, response and recovery."
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 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.