State Funding to Help Counties Improve Communications Infrastructure and Enhance Public Safety Operations
Builds on $55 Million in Previous Investments to Improve Emergency Communications Statewide and Support Emergency Services Dispatching
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $32 million in grant funding has been awarded to seven counties to improve emergency communications. This funding will help counties strengthen communications infrastructure that is critical during emergency situations and enhance public safety operations. This includes a variety of projects ranging from the construction of new radio towers to the hardening and updating of existing infrastructure. These targeted grants are just the latest awards aimed at assisting counties and local governments in improving their critical emergency communication capabilities.
"In emergency situations, it's critical that first responders have the resources they need to quickly and efficiently respond to calls for help," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will allow counties to continue to upgrade and improve their emergency communications systems and in the process create a stronger, safer New York for all."
"Emergency communications services are vital to ensure the safety and well-being of New Yorkers," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This funding will help upstate counties upgrade their communications and dispatching infrastructure and operations to increase public safety and enhance overall quality of life. We're making sure that communities have the support and technology they need to improve emergency communications and operate efficiently."
The following counties received funding through the 2018 Statewide Interoperable Communications Targeted Grant Program:
- Clinton County will receive $2,334,697 to build several new communications tower sites, add new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies, as well as upgrade the county's 911 communications center with new equipment to improve monitoring of those multi-jurisdictional communications channels.
- Hamilton County will receive $6,000,000 to add six new communications tower sites and upgrade three others, as well as add new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies.
- Herkimer County will receive $2,308,567 to build a new tower site and upgrade multiple existing towers to improve weather resiliency and install additional communication equipment. The county will also add new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies.
- Jefferson County will receive $4,100,000 to implement a state-of-the-art system that connects all radio sites in the county and add new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies.
- Niagara County will receive $6,000,000 to build several new communications towers and update the connectivity between those towers. The county will also add new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies.
- Orleans County will receive $5,897,141 to improve their radio system by adding new communications towers, technology to connect separate radio systems and new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies.
- Schenectady County will receive $6,000,000 to expand its radio communications system with new tower sites and connect to an adjacent county radio system, effectively expanding two counties' systems beyond county borders.
Roger L. Parrino, Sr., Commissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services said, "The targeted grant program helps counties commence capital projects to improve communication infrastructure. These improvements will help ensure that all first responders will be able to communicate with each other during an emergency."
State Interoperable Communications Grant
In October, Governor Cuomo awarded $45 million in state grant funding to 57 counties and New York City to improve emergency communications statewide. The grant has awarded more than $450 million in seven rounds to 57 counties and New York City since 2010. 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. This includes expanding radio coverage by installing new equipment at towers and antenna sites, implementing Next Generation 911 technologies and standards, setting up communication channels among public safety radio systems, consolidating emergency services dispatch centers, supporting the operations of public safety dispatch centers and deploying new technology that helps counties link their systems together. Additionally, this funding supports training and exercises to promote efficient inter-regional communications, cooperation and overall first responder readiness.
Public Safety Answering Points Operations Grant
In August, Governor Cuomo awarded $10 million in grants to localities across the state to support emergency response operations. This funding will allow municipalities in 57 counties and New York City to make improvements to their 911 response and emergency service dispatch operations. These funds not only help county operators offset their day-to-day expenses, but can also foster upgrades in call-taking and dispatching technology by investing in new services such as text messaging, data communication, and improved geo-location for emergency response. Since the program's inception in 2010, counties have applied the funding to upgrades, including implementing text-to-911 services. Today, 48 percent of all statewide counties offer text-to-911 services, up from 40 percent last year.
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, natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov.