November 9, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Congratulates Chemung County on Achieving State Emergency Management Accreditation

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Governor Hochul Congratulates Chemung County on Achieving State Emergency Management Accreditation
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Chemung County Office of Fire and Emergency Management Among Thirteen Emergency Management Organizations to Achieve Accreditation

New York State's Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program is the First of its Kind in the Nation 

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the Chemung County Office of Fire and Emergency Management has received accreditation through New York's Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program. Chemung County joins 13 other emergency management organizations in receiving achieve accreditation. The county joins Albany, Broome, Erie, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Nassau, Oneida, Saratoga, Washington, and Wayne counties, as well as New York City, in this formal recognition

"It's clear how critical local emergency management is for our state's resilience as we continue to experience example after example of extreme weather, and Chemung County's accreditation is a necessary step that all of our Counties should take," said Governor Hochul.  "I congratulate Chemung County and encourage more counties throughout New York State to take part in the accreditation process to evaluate and enhance the overall proficiency of their emergency preparation, making sure New Yorkers are ready for a variety of emergencies."

New York's Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program is the nation's first accreditation at the state level for local emergency management agencies. Developed in partnership with the New York State Emergency Management Association, the accreditation program highlights and promotes local emergency management agencies in New York State.   

In order to become accredited, a locality must meet a series of standards and best practices that promote a coordinated and integrated approach to emergency management. Counties must also engage "whole community" stakeholders, including government and private partners, and consider those who may require specific attention during an emergency or disaster such as the homeless, the elderly, or disabled individuals. 

The 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. 

State Division Homeland Security and Emergency Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Terence J. O'Leary said, "I congratulate the Chemung County Office of Fire and Emergency Management team on achieving accreditation, placing them in a select group of statewide teams that have demonstrated their ability to address any type of emergency and protect our fellow New Yorkers. Achieving this accreditation is no easy task. In doing so, it shows that Chemung County has implemented standards and best practices that puts its staff in a better position to meet today's challenging emergency situations."

The Chemung County Office of Fire and Emergency Management serves as a liaison for the county during any emergency or disaster. The staff act as facilitators of training for first responders and emergency workers, and provides emergency response information during an emergency for municipalities and their residents. The staff is responsible for the full cycle of emergency planning, including preparedness, prevention, response, mitigation and recovery from disasters and the damage they can cause.

The office also administers various federal and state grants to support emergency preparedness and response. Additionally, the staff serves as the Fire Coordinator's Office for the county which has responsibility for organizing and training all fire departments within the county's borders; as the administration for the 911 Emergency Communications Center; as the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) Coordination Office; and as the Safety Coordinator's Office responsible for the Occupational Health and Safety of all county employees and visitors to county facilities.

New York State Emergency Management Association President and Cattaraugus County Emergency Management Director Chris Baker said, "We are extremely proud of this program and the ongoing partnership with DHSES. Together we are working to ensure county emergency management agencies are prepared and recognized for their achievements."

Chemung County Executive Chris Moss said, "Emergency Management has always and will continue to play a vital role in how municipalities address a variety of emergency issues. The residents of Chemung County should be extremely proud of the multiple individuals who made this possible, as the Deputy County Executive and I commend them for their efforts. To be one of 13 counties to achieve this status is a testament to the hard work set forth by the men and women who are responsible for our emergency management efforts."

Chemung County Director of Civil Defense Vincent Azzarelli said, "It is an honor to have been part of the team that is responsible for meeting this challenge. The support of the County Executive and DHSES were major contributors to our success. It will result in improved response in the main goal of emergency management to protect the community and its residents."

Local emergency management offices interested in obtaining accreditation should compile and develop policies, plans, and documents necessary to meet accreditation standards. Required documentation will be shared or uploaded to the NY Responds web portal and materials will be reviewed in advance of the onsite review. The 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 requested materials are 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 further examination of any necessary plans and documentation, and interviews with emergency managers, staff, and others, if necessary. It is incumbent on the emergency management office to demonstrate, document, and articulate how each of the standards and associated criteria are met. 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 at [email protected]

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 New York State 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 DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or Instagram, or visit dhses.ny.gov

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

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