CAPITAL REGION -- The state on Friday awarded $45 million to improve emergency radio communications, with every county in the state getting funding toward improving their inter-operability with other counties' radio systems.
The Statewide Interoperability Communications grants are funded through a surcharge on cellular phones, and counties apply to use the money to buy and install equipment at towers and other communications sites, implement next-generation 911 technology, and set up new communications channels. Funding can also be used for training.
In the Capital Region, counties were awarded the following amounts: Albany, $1,255,608; Fulton, $491,882; Montgomery, $383,222; Rensselaer, $749,475; Saratoga, $764,347; Schenectady, $647,319; and Schoharie, $472,519. Each county applied for funding based on its own needs.
"Emergency communications systems are crucial to ensure the safety of every New Yorker, and we're always looking for the latest technology to transmit information fast in a time of crisis," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in announcing the funding. "This funding will enhance communications networks across the state and ensure that municipalities have the resources needed to improve emergency systems and operate efficiently."
The money was awarded through the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.