ALBANY, 02/12/13 – State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today congratulated Cortland County on the receipt of a $6 million grant through the Statewide Interoperable Communications Grant (SICG) program to upgrade emergency communications.
“Emergency responders depend on a reliable communication network to do their job and save lives,” said Senator Seward. “This grant award, the second received by Cortland County, will not only help protect homes and businesses but also means that firefighters, ambulance workers and police will be safer when answering emergency calls. The funding also saves taxpayers from a major expense.”
The funding award announced by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services follows a $4 million award Cortland County received in 2011.
Senator Seward assisted Cortland County emergency officials with their grant submission and convened meetings with officials with the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to stress the importance of the project. He also advocated for approval of the award once the county’s application was submitted.
“This second successful grant application attests to the professionalism displayed by Cortland County emergency officials and the high quality of their submission. I was pleased to work with them and advocate on their behalf throughout the process,” Seward added.
Senator Seward is a long-standing advocate for first responders. As chairman of the Senate Task Force on Volunteer Emergency Services, he helped establish a low interest loan program for the capital needs and equipment purchases of volunteer fire departments and emergency squads. Seward also won funding increases for the state fire academy to improve training for firefighters. He also sponsored special tax credits to give volunteers a break on their state tax returns.
“Our first responders risk their lives each time they answer an emergency call. Providing them with the tools they need to do their job is essential. Whether in the case of a natural disaster, a man-made tragedy, or other emergency situation, up to date communication equipment may mean the difference between life and death,” Seward concluded.