St. Lawrence County getting $193,447 to strengthen local emergency response operations
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 5:59 am

St. Lawrence County will receive $193,447 as part of $10 million in grant funding to strengthen local emergency response operations across the state through improvements to 911 response and emergency service dispatch operations.

Public safety facilities known as Public Safety Answering Points receive calls for help and initiate dispatching of emergency services. Throughout the state, counties provide the majority of 911 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 operating and dispatching expenses. All counties and New York City are eligible to apply to receive grant funds.

County operators can use the funding in many ways, including operating expenses, upgrades to dispatching technology and investment in services, such as text messaging, data communication and geo-location. Since the program's inception in 2010, counties have applied the funding to upgrades, including implementing text-to-911 services. This year, six counties added text-to-911 services to their emergency response resources, bringing the total number of counties with text-to-911 service up to 34 - more than 50 percent of all counties in the state.

The grants are formula-based and non-competitive. Funding is 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 funding is administered by the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services through the Public Safety Answering Points Operations Grant.