Orleans awarded nearly $550K for 911 emergency system

Staff Reports Posted 7 February 2018 at 2:33 pm

Orleans County will be receiving nearly $550,000 in funding from the state for maintenance and upgrades to its 911 emergency communication system.

The county will receive $420,587 with a State Interoperable Communications Grant and $122,218 through the Public Safety Answering Points Grant.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the funding for counties throughout the state.

The State Interoperable Communications Grant will enable local governments to expand their ability to communicate, exchange valuable data, and streamline information to enhance collaboration and assist first responders. The State Interoperable Communications Grant contributed $45 million to local governments, and the Public Safety Answering Points Operations Grant contributed an additional $10 million to localities for a total of $55 million.

“In an emergency, every second counts and these funds will help ensure our first responders have access to the best and most up to date communications equipment, enabling them to get the information they need to quickly respond,” Governor Cuomo said. “These grants will bring up one step closer to a stronger, safer and more secure New York for all.”

• State Interoperable Communications Grant

The State Interoperable Communications Grant, administered by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, has awarded more than $300 million in six rounds to 57 counties and New York City.  The Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant is formula based and funded by cellular surcharge revenue. 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.

Each county and New York City can submit applications to fund projects involving infrastructure, equipment, and technology upgrades. The grant is administered by the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

Eligible counties can use this funding for a variety of functions, including 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 help counties link their systems together. Additionally, this funding will support training and exercises to promote efficient inter-regional communications, cooperation, and overall first responder readiness.

• The Public Safety Answering Points Grant

Additionally, $10 million has been awarded to counties across the state for county emergency call centers. Public safety facilities, known as PSAPs, receive incoming calls for help and initiate dispatching of emergency services. Throughout New York State, counties provide the majority of 911 answering and dispatching operations, and coordinate the services among municipal, county and state responders. The annual grant, also administered by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, allows for state reimbursement to counties for eligible public safety call-taking and dispatching expenses. All counties and the City of New York can apply to receive grant funds, and all chose to participate in the program this year.

The funds not only help county operators offset their day-to-day expenses, but also foster upgrades in call-taking and dispatching technology and make investments in new services such as text messaging, data communication and improved geo-location for emergency response.

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