GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES $10 MILLION GRANT TO SUPPORT EMERGENCY SERVICES DISPATCHING
Funding Allows Counties to Upgrade Emergency Response Operations, Services and Technology
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $10 million in grants awarded to localities across the state to support emergency response operations. These 2018-2019 grant funds will allow municipalities in 57 counties and New York City to make improvements to their 911 response and emergency service dispatch operations. The funding is administered by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services through the Public Safety Answering Points Operations Grant.
Public safety facilities, known as Public Safety Answering Points, receive incoming calls for help and initiate dispatching of emergency services. Throughout the state, counties provide the majority of 911 answering and dispatching operations, and coordinate the services among municipal, county, and state responders. The annual PSAPs grant allows for state reimbursement to counties for eligible public safety call-taking and dispatching expenses. All counties and the New York City are eligible to apply to receive grant funds, and all chose to participate in the program this year.
These funds not only help 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. Since the program's inception in 2010, counties have applied the funding to upgrades, including implementing text-to-911 services. Today, 48 percent of all statewide counties offer text-to-911 services, up from 40 percent last year.
This grant is a non-competitive, formula-based grant. 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 with state and national guidelines for emergency communications.
The $10 million available for the program is allocated as follows: