Annual funding supports county efforts to strengthen wireless interoperability among emergency responders
√ Application period open on DHSES website until May 11
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced $62.4 million is available to support county-level efforts to strengthen emergency communications and interoperability infrastructure utilized by local first responders. Through the 2022 Statewide Interoperable Communications Targeted Grant Program, individual counties and New York City can apply for funding to improve infrastructure, address communications deficiencies, implement national interoperability channels, and enhance regional connectivity between counties and systems. Interoperability gives first responders the ability to seamlessly share information and data in real time during an emergency.
"When our firefighters, police officers, EMTs and paramedics respond to a crisis, they need a communications structure that allows them to communicate and coordinate effectively and efficiently," Hochul said. "This funding builds on our previous efforts to modernize our public safety communications systems, and will bolster effective emergency communications capabilities and infrastructure across the state."
The 2022 SICG targeted program is a noncompetitive grant program designed to improve the status of land mobile radio interoperability for New York's public safety agencies. Funding is distributed to eligible applicants (counties) that have insufficient coverage or insufficient infrastructure on national interoperability channels. The maximum available award to each recipient is $6 million, with only one application being accepted per county. The State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will review applications and provide technical assistance to applicants as requested.
To apply for funding, applicants can visit the division's SICG page. This year's deadline to apply is May 11.
State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "When an emergency happens, our first responders need to be able to communicate. Updating aging communications infrastructure through these grants and partnerships between the division and counties is critical to insuring clear lines of communication during events. We're excited to offer this funding opportunity to our local partners most in need of upgrades."
Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties Stephen J. Acquario said, "Gov. Hochul's release of this funding is a major step forward for counties, and comes at a critical time for local public safety and emergency management systems that are in urgent need of upgrades. Local 9-1-1 dispatch centers rely on these grants to help fund lifesaving but costly infrastructure improvements, including new mobile radios for first responders, additional towers to increase the quality of dispatching services, and new technology to strengthen our interoperable communication centers. Gov. Hochul is to be commended for improving the process to release these funds in a more timely manner, enabling local governments to improve emergency planning and response, and keep New Yorkers safe."