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Friday, January 1, 2016

Niagara County was granted $195,149 in Public Safety Answering Points operations grants to improve 911 response and emergency dispatching.

The grant, part of $10 million in operations grants awarded to municipalities across New York State, is administered by the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

“In an emergency, every second counts,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “With these investments we’re helping to ensure our first responders have resources they need and access to the most-up-to-date technology available in order to better respond to New Yorkers in their moment of need.”

“It is important that all New Yorkers can get the help they need quickly and easily in any type of emergency situation,” DHSES Commissioner John P. Melville said. “These grants will help counties invest in their emergency communications infrastructure and give local residents quality service and peace of mind that help will come quickly when they need it.”

The grant funding is administered by DHSES through the Public Safety Answering Points Operations Grant. PSAPs are public safety facilities where incoming calls for help are received and the process for emergency services dispatching is initiated. Throughout New York State, counties provide the majority of 9-1-1 answering and dispatching operations, and coordinate services among municipal, county and state responders. The annual grant allows for state reimbursement to counties for eligible public safety call-taking and dispatching expenses. All counties and the City of New York are eligible to apply.

The Public Safety Answering Points Operations Grant was initiated by Governor Cuomo in 2014 and all 57 counties and the City of New York have chosen to participate again this year. The grant not only helps 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. Funding is non-competitive and formula-based. 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 to state and national guidelines for emergency communications.

Erie County received $209,112, while Orleans County was granted $133,385.

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