Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Albany and Madison Counties have achieved accreditation as part of the Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program. First proposed in the Governor’s 2017 State of the State, the accreditation program is the first of its kind at the state-level for local emergency management agencies in the nation. Albany and Madison Counties join New York City and Broome, Livingston, Montgomery, and Oneida Counties as those that have achieved state accreditation.

“The safety of New Yorkers is our number one priority, and this firstinthenation program ensures local emergency management offices can efficiently respond to any disaster and protect the public,” Governor Cuomo said. “By putting procedures in place to respond to unpredictable emergency situations, we are creating a stronger, safer and more secure New York.”

The program, developed in partnership with the New York State Emergency Management Association (NYSEMA), is designed to highlight and promote proactive local emergency management agencies in New York State. To become accredited, the locality must meet a series of standards and best practices that promote a coordinated and integrated approach to emergency management. The localities must engage “Whole Community” stakeholders, including government and private partners, and consider the needs of those that may require specific attention during an emergency or disaster, like the homeless, elderly, or disabled. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) administers the program on behalf of the Local Emergency Management Accreditation Council, which serves as the governing body for the program. Accreditation is valid for five years, with an opportunity to obtain reaccreditation after the five-year period.

Patrick A. Murphy, Acting Commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, said, “The Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program underscores the state’s strong partnership with NYSEMA and commitment to the emergency management community. Accreditation helps validate the work and competency of local emergency management agencies in New York State and further advances the importance of the emergency management function.”

New York State Emergency Management Association President and Cattaraugus County Emergency Management Director Chris Baker said, “The accreditation program is helping to further advance the discipline of emergency management in New York State. NYSEMA is proud of the program and our strong partnership with DHSES.”

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, “The safety and well-being of Albany County residents, especially the most vulnerable populations like our seniors and the disabled, have always been and will continue to be top priorities, and achieving accreditation through this visionary program is a resounding acknowledgment of our proactive approach to emergency management. I have been proud to partner with Sheriff Apple over the years to take on disasters big and small and I look forward to continuing the work that our residents have come to expect.”

Madison County Chairman, John M. Becker said, “On behalf of the Madison County Board of Supervisors I want to applaud the Office of Emergency Management for their hard work that has led to the staff achieving accreditation. Our emergency management staff strives daily to make sure the public, themselves and the local government are prepared in case of a catastrophic incident.  I thank them for being so committed to keeping Madison County residents safe.”

The Critical Incident-Emergency Management Division (CI-EMD) is tasked by Albany County to oversee and manage emergency management for the county. Overseen by the Sheriff’s Office, Commander Brian Wood manages CI-EMD and its staff of two full-time and four part-time members. CI-EMD is in charge of overseeing and managing emergency management, including the development and implementation of the county’s comprehensive emergency management plan. CI-EMD includes the Fire Coordinators Office and oversight of the Sheriff Office’s emergency medical services and four county hazmat teams. CI-EMD also manages the county animal response team, technical search, and rescue team which maintains the county’s functional need registry and conducts other emergency management duties as directed by Sheriff Craig Apple.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said, “The Albany County Sheriff’s Office is honored to receive our Emergency Management Accreditation from DHSES and NYSEMA. As Sheriff, I put a high importance on community preparedness and resiliency. Our Emergency Management Unit is an important part of the county’s preparedness and education of our local municipalities and we cherish our close relationship with our emergency management partners. Our staff puts great pride into what we offer and the safety of our residents and this accreditation is a milestone achievement.”

The Madison County Office of Emergency Management has a singular goal to keep county citizens safe. Using state of the art technology, the Office of Emergency Management identifies, tracks, and responds to life-threatening incidents, both natural and man-made. Additionally, the Office of Emergency Management provides training and operational support to Madison County’s first responder community and delivers citizen preparedness training to enhance public safety.  

Madison County Emergency Management Director Ted Halpin, Jr. said, “This recognition exemplifies the knowledge, dedication and hard work of our Emergency Management staff.  It also represents the trust and support County leadership, other County Departments, state and local governments, and first responders have provided this program.  This acknowledgment reinforces our mission of keeping people safe.”

Local emergency management offices that are interested in obtaining this accreditation need to compile and/or develop the policies, plans, and documents necessary to meet accreditation standards.  Any documentation that is required will be shared or uploaded to the NY Responds web portal so that materials can be reviewed in advance of the on-site review. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and New York State Emergency Management Association will provide technical assistance during the preparation phase and once all of the requested materials have been obtained, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will select a team of at least two experienced assessors to conduct the review.

The review will include the further examination of any necessary plans and documentation, and interviews with the Emergency Manager, staff, and others, if necessary. It will be incumbent on the emergency management office to demonstrate, document, and articulate how they meet each of the standards and associated criteria. Local emergency management offices wishing to receive certification should complete the application form and submit it to the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services at EMaccreditation@dhses.ny.gov.
 
Additional information about the New York State Local Emergency Management Accreditation Program – including program guidance, eligibility, and standards – can be found 
here.

About DHSES

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) provides leadership, coordination, and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here