State pumps $2M into LI emergency communications

Emergency call: Albany is investing another $45 million in statewide emergency-communications enhancements.

Roughly $2 million for programs in Nassau and Suffolk counties was included in a new round of emergency-communications grants announced this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Nassau is receiving $856,563 and Suffolk more than $1.1 million through the State Interoperable Communications Grant, which is administered by the New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. All told, statewide funding in this round totals $45 million.

John Melville: “Vital” protections.

The grants will help counties enhance their emergency-response systems and “implement next-generation 911 technology,” according to the governor’s office. In addition to facilitating better public access to emergency responders, the funding will improve intra- and inter-department communications and streamline data exchanges through multiple first-responder systems.

Noting “every second counts” in an emergency situation, Cuomo called the funding “critical.”

“It will improve the quality and efficiency of emergency-response capabilities across New York,” the governor said in a statement, while supporting “brave first responders who put their lives on the line every day.”

John Melville, the state’s emergency services commissioner, said continually upgrading and enhancing 911 systems and other communications technologies is “vital.”

“This grant funding allows counties and New York City to continue to make improvements to their emergency communications systems to help protect New Yorkers,” Melville said Thursday.

The largest chunk of change this round went to the Big Apple, which received more than $5.6 million in state funds. Suffolk’s $1,118,377 was the fourth-largest stipend this round, behind NYC, Monroe County ($1.45 million) and Onondaga County ($1.40 million).

The lowest grant award this round went to tiny Yates County in northwestern New York, which received just over $355,000.

Since launching in 2010, the State Interoperable Communications Grant has awarded more than $275 million to 57 New York counties and NYC.

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