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15 emergency management organizations now accredited under New York's local emergency management program, the first of its kind in US
√ Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services recently recognized both counties at New York State Emergency Management Association Conference in Syracuse
Gov. Kathy Hochul recently announced Niagara and Wyoming counties achieved accreditation through New York state's local emergency management accreditation program. Niagara County Emergency Services and the Wyoming County Office of Emergency Services are the latest emergency management organizations in New York to achieve accreditation, joining Albany, Broome, Chemung, Erie, Livingston, Madison, Montgomery, Nassau, Oneida, Saratoga, Washington and Wayne counties, as well as New York City.
"Delivering an immediate response to local emergencies is a critical role shared by all county emergency managers, and Niagara County and Wyoming County have proven they have the processes in place to protect public safety," Hochul said. "The accreditation process challenges emergency management agencies to ensure they have thorough plans and procedures to protect their citizens, and I encourage other county emergency management offices to join their peers and become accredited."
New York state's local emergency management accreditation program is the nation's first accreditation at the state level for local emergency management agencies. Developed in partnership with the New York State Emergency Management Association, the accreditation program highlights and promotes local emergency management agencies in New York. To become accredited, a local government must meet a series of standards and best practices promoting a coordinated and integrated approach to emergency management. Localities must also engage "whole community" stakeholders, including government and private partners, and consider those in their community who may require specific attention during an emergency including homeless, elderly, and disabled New Yorkers.
State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, "Local emergency managers play a pivotal role in keeping New Yorkers safe during the most difficult of times, and it's essential we ensure they have the tools, resources and expertise needed to get their community through any type of disaster. New York's groundbreaking accreditation process has consistently proven to be one of the best tools we have to accomplish this goal, and we commend both Niagara and Wyoming counties for all their hard work to achieve this distinction."
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services administers the program on behalf of the Local Emergency Management Accreditation Council, which serves as the governing body for the program. Accreditation is valid for five years, with an opportunity to obtain reaccreditation after the five-year period.
The Niagara County Office of Emergency Services ensures, through coordination with all first responders, that the county is prepared to respond to, and recover from, all natural and human-made emergencies for citizens, employers and visitors. The office provides the leadership, training and support to reduce the loss of life and property through an all-hazards emergency management program of planning and preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery throughout Niagara County.
Niagara County Fire Coordinator and Director of Emergency Services Jonathan Schultz said, "Niagara County Emergency Services is extremely excited to achieve accreditation, and I thank those who worked so hard to attain this achievement. We continuously partner with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, local police agencies, the local career and volunteer fire departments and EMS agencies, as well as the Niagara County Department of Health, to provide services to those experiencing emergencies or disasters across our county. Our ongoing work with our County Legislature, in collaboration with all the local jurisdictions, continues to make Niagara County one of the safest places to live.”
Additional information about the New York state local emergency management accreditation program – including program guidance, eligibility, and standards – can be found on the DHSES website here.
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and New York State Emergency Management Association will provide technical assistance to local emergency management offices interested in obtaining accreditation. Local emergency management offices looking to achieve accreditation should complete the application form and submit it to the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services at [email protected].
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination and support to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disasters and other emergencies. For more information, follow on Facebook, on Twitter or Instagram, or visit the website.