Seward Announces Tompkins Budget Award

James L. Seward

December 05, 2007

Emergency preparedness in Tompkins County would be enhanced as a result of state funding for new communications equipment for first responders throughout the county, Senator James L. Seward announced today.

Seward unveiled a senate funding initiative of $80,000 toward the county's cost of its county-wide emergency communications system upgrade.

"The senate funding will help pay for a critical need right here in Tompkins County and will result in enhanced readiness and improved communication during an emergency. This is a key, locally identified need that without the senate funding would have been unavailable or put on the property tax," Senator Seward said. "When it comes to local governments and fire departments in particular, the senate help reduces pressure on tax rates and tight budgets, especially in rural areas."

The senate funding will help purchase fixed, portable and mobile radio equipment for all of the public safety agencies in the county, including fire departments, emergency medical services and ambulance squads, and police agencies. The senate funding will provide an allotment of portable radios to each responder. The goal is to enhance communication among all of the first responders operating within the county by replacing outdated and failure-prone systems, boost area coverage, and establish inter-operability among agencies.

Seward said the money was itemized in the state budget under new disclosure rules, and is intended to help local programs.