Orleans approved for $133K state grant for dispatch

Staff Reports Posted 30 December 2015 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – Kevin Colonna, an Orleans County deputy sheriff, looks for information from dispatcher Bill Oliver in this photo from April 2015.

ALBANY – Orleans County will receive $133,385 from the state for the county’s dispatch center. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced $10 million in grants today for 57 counties and New York City.

The “Public Safety Answering Points” operations grants are administered by the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, will improve 9-1-1 response and emergency dispatching.

“In an emergency, every second counts,” Cuomo said. “With these investments we’re helping to ensure our first responders have resources they need and access to the most-up-to-date technology available in order to better respond to New Yorkers in their moment of need.”

The grant funding is administered by DHSES through the Public Safety Answering Points Operations Grant. PSAPs are public safety facilities where incoming calls for help are received and the process for emergency services dispatching is initiated.

Throughout New York State, counties provide the majority of 9-1-1 answering and dispatching operations, and coordinate services among municipal, county and state responders. The annual grant allows for state reimbursement to counties for eligible public safety call-taking and dispatching expenses. All counties and the City of New York are eligible to apply.

The grant not only helps county operators offset their day-to-day expenses, but can also foster upgrades in call-taking and dispatching technology and investing in new services such as text messaging, data communication and improved geo-location for emergency response. Funding is non-competitive and formula-based.

Orleans received the third smallest of the grants. Only Putnam County at $126,883 and Hamilton County at $127,582 received less. Albany County received the biggest grant for a county at $233,382.

Monies are distributed among participating counties based on statistics reflective of a county’s operational scope, demographic factors, and emergency services call metrics. By participating in the program, counties affirm their adherence to state and national guidelines for emergency communications.