Three Counties Join 15 Additional Emergency Management Organizations to Achieve Accreditation Under New York State's Local Emergency Management Program, the First of its Kind in the U.S.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to Recognize Newly Accredited Counties at the New York State Emergency Management Association Conference in Syracuse This Week
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced Monroe, Steuben and Suffolk Counties recently achieved accreditation through New York State's Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program. Monroe County's Office of Emergency Management, Steuben County's Office of Emergency Services, and Suffolk County's Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services are the latest emergency management organizations in New York State to achieve accreditation, joining agencies in Albany, Broome, Chemung, Erie, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Saratoga, Washington, Wayne and Wyoming counties, as well as New York City.
"New York's local emergency managers play a vital role in responding to a wide variety of emergencies in their communities and we are proud to support and celebrate them in their mission," Governor Hochul said. "Our accreditation program demonstrates counties have thorough plans and procedures to protect New Yorkers. Congratulations to County Executives Bellone and Bello, County Manager Wheeler and their respective teams on this achievement, and I continue to encourage counties across the state to pursue this important accreditation process."
New York State's Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program is the nation's first accreditation at the state level for local emergency management agencies. The program was developed in partnership with the New York State Emergency Management Association (NYSEMA), the accreditation program highlights and promotes local emergency management agencies in New York State. To become accredited, a local government must meet a series of standards and best practices promoting a coordinated and integrated approach to emergency management. Localities must also engage "whole community" stakeholders, including government and non-government partners.
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) administers the program on behalf of the Local Emergency Management Accreditation Council, which serves as the governing body for the program. Accreditation is valid for five years, with an opportunity to obtain reaccreditation after the five-year period.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "New York's threat landscape has never been more diverse, from the ferocity of storms to cyber-incidents to mass casualty events. These threats require our local emergency managers to have processes in place to respond to disasters and protect the public. Thanks to our partners in Monroe, Steuben and Suffolk Counties on achieving this accreditation that will better equip themselves to respond to emergencies."
New York State Emergency Management Association President and Cattaraugus County Emergency Management Director Chris Baker said, "I would like to congratulate these counties for achieving this important accomplishment, and I want to thank DHSES for their ongoing partnership with the accreditation program."
Monroe County Office of Emergency Management
The Monroe County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) executes the county's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan for disaster relief before, during and after any type of natural or man-made disaster or a wartime situation. In accordance with State Executive Law, the office develops and maintains a comprehensive emergency management plan to include prevention/mitigation, readiness, response and recovery. OEM plans and coordinates with government and non-government agencies for rapid response in an emergency and assists towns and villages in the preparation of their emergency response plans. OEM, with guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, develops and continually reviews the Monroe County radiological emergency preparedness plan in case of an incident at the Ginna Nuclear Power Plant. OEM conducts multiple exercises a year testing its radiological emergency preparedness plan.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, "Monroe County's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is second-to-none in keeping our residents safe and resources protected. The State Emergency Accreditation for the Monroe County OEM further proves the mettle of this agency and its mission of preventing disasters and, if necessary, providing the best disaster relief possible. Thank you to OEM Emergency Manager Tim Henry and his entire team for achieving this accreditation and for always putting the residents of Monroe County first."
Monroe County Deputy Director for Public Safety and County Emergency Manager Tim Henry said, "What seemed like a daunting task became a very positive and enlightening process for our OEM Team. Working with our invaluable partners in New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, we were able to objectively prioritize and re-evaluate our most critical emergency plans and procedures - updating each with a whole community approach to preparedness and response. The accreditation process refocused many of our efforts to pro-active preparation compared to reactive responses to emergency scenarios."
Steuben County Office of Emergency Services
The Steuben County Office of Emergency Services applies its training and knowledge to effectively plan and prepare for the harmful effects of natural and manmade disasters. Emergency Services officials guide and coordinate emergency response agencies in protecting those who live, travel and work in Steuben County. Emergency Services officials strive to significantly reduce the number of losses to individuals, businesses and government of Steuben County and alleviate the suffering associated with the disruption of daily routines.
Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler said, "Steuben County is grateful to receive this accreditation and is very proud of our Office of Emergency Services. Whether it be their proactive disaster planning, or responding to active events such as weather emergencies, fires, or COVID-19, the men and women of this office consistently demonstrate professionalism and a never-ending sense of duty. This accreditation is well-deserved recognition of their tremendous efforts."
Steuben County Director of Public Safety and County Emergency Manager Tim Marshall said, "Steuben County Office of Emergency Services is excited to be among those who are receiving this recognition of being accredited by New York State's Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program. Achieving this accreditation continues to ensure we are amongst those most prepared for any emergency, natural or other active disaster, thrown our way. The men and women that serve both as employees as well as volunteers within our organization should be proud to be part of getting us here."
Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services
The Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services (FRES) is committed to serving both the 1.5 million residents of Suffolk County and the over 10,000 emergency responders who are dedicated to saving lives and protecting property.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "I am extremely proud of our Office of Emergency Management for their dedicated service and achieving accreditation through the New York State Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program. These men and women work every day to ensure the health and safety of all Suffolk County residents. Thanks to the hard work of our FRES Commissioner Patrick Beckley and OEM Director Joseph Trzepizur, not only have we been able to meet state policy standards, we have been able to exceed them."
Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services Commissioner Pat Beckley said, "Achieving state accreditation for our Office of Emergency Management has been one of our top priorities at Suffolk County Fire Rescue and Emergency Services since 2021. It was a very detailed process that covers over 20 different subject areas in emergency management and requires all of our plans to have been updated within the last five years. It was a very challenging objective to accomplish while still continuing to respond to real world incidents like COVID and other natural events. I'm very proud of the efforts all of our FRES staff have put into this. I'm especially proud of our OEM staff and the leadership of Director Joseph Trzepizur in achieving our goal as a NY State accredited Emergency Management Office."
Additional information about the New York State Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program - including program guidance, eligibility, and standards - can be found on the DHSES website here.
DHSES and NYSEMA will provide technical assistance to local emergency management offices interested in obtaining accreditation. Local emergency management offices looking to achieve accreditation should complete the application form and submit it to DHSES at [email protected].
About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination, and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or visit our website.
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