Cortland County awarded $1 million for emergency communications

CORTLAND, N.Y. - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday that $55 million in state grant funding was awarded to counties statewide and New York City for enhancing emergency communications. This funding will enable local governments to expand their ability to communicate, exchange valuable data, and streamline information to enhance collaboration and assist first responders.

The State Interoperable Communications Grant contributed $45 million to local governments, and the Public Safety Answering Points Operations Grant contributed an additional $10 million to localities for a total of $55 million.

In Cortland County, the New York State grant funds will continue to build on the County’s Interoperable Communications Network. According to Scott Roman, Cortland County’s Director of Emergency Response and Communications, the New York State sustainment funds, which amount to $978,349, will be used to pay for preventative maintenance to Cortland County’s radio and software systems.

In addition, Roman says, the funds will be used to upgrade furnishings and equipment in the County 911 Center as well as fund new fiber optic line connections between key 911 center sites and the County Information and Technology Department. The funds will also support upgrades to mobile data terminals used by local police, fire departments and emergency medical service providers. Finally, Roman says, the grant funding will also support the purchase of new portable radios for first responders.

Cortland County was also awarded a second grant in this round of funding in the amount of $137,308. Roman said these funds will support the hiring of an additional 911 dispatcher and call-taker positions, which provide critical support for 911 operators during high volume call periods. Lastly, the money will also fund an additional 911 supervisor position.

Cortland County Legislative Chairman Charles Sudbrink expressed gratitude to the Governor for the continued support of the County’s emergency communications network.

“These funds not only help defray the cost of maintaining our critical emergency communications system, but also ensure that our first responders have the necessary tools and technology to keep our community safe," Sudbrink said.