New York State counties will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars each to strengthen their emergency communications systems.
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Friday that $ 45 million has been awarded to 57 counties and New York City to help them improve emergency communications technology. Funding comes from the National Interoperable Communications Grant Program, which compensates counties for public safety phone answering and dispatching costs, but also supports upgrades.
"Emergency communications systems are critical to ensuring the safety of every New York State person, and we are always looking for the latest technology to quickly transfer information in times of crisis," Cuomo said in a press release.
Cuomo added: "This funding will enhance New York State's communications network and ensure that municipalities have the resources needed to improve emergency systems and operate effectively."
According to the governor's office, appropriations include $ 848,652 in St. Lawrence County, $ 766,944 in Jefferson County, $ 720,830 in Lewis County, $ 709,240 in Franklin County, and $ 839,572 in Oswego County. Neither Jefferson County Emergency Management Director Joseph D. Plummer nor St. Lawrence County Emergency Management Director Matthew Denner declined to comment on how this could benefit their respective emergency communications systems.
Enhancements that the plan can support include wider radio service coverage, new antennas, towers, modern 911 equipment, tools that can help connect county systems together, and new channels between radio systems. It can also be used for related training and exercises.
The program is administered by the US Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. To get funding for the program, which comes from cellphone surcharge revenue, counties and New York City must apply to fund equipment and infrastructure upgrades, according to the governor's office.