Hinchey and Skoufis Applaud $6M in Emergency Communications Funding Awarded to Ulster County

Senator Michelle Hinchey (SD-46) and Senator James Skoufis (SD-39) applauded the announcement that Ulster County will be receiving $6 million through the Statewide Interoperable Communications Targeted Grant Program to improve and expand local emergency communications infrastructure.  

Funds will be used to build a new radio tower and improve existing towers. The county will also implement new radio channels to strengthen communications between multiple jurisdictions and agencies and improve dispatching operations at public safety answering points.

“We are grateful that this vital state funding is coming through for Ulster County, which will improve local emergency response times and equip our hard-working dispatchers, and other emergency personnel, with the enhanced capabilities to keep our communities safe,” said Senator Michelle Hinchey. “Lives depend on being able to communicate quickly and effectively in an emergency situation, and with these infrastructure upgrades coming our way, local residents will be much safer for it.”

Senator James Skoufis said, “Residents and EMS alike should be able to easily communicate regardless of zip code. Ulster County, which has extremely rural areas, needs to be prioritized in any and all plans about improving communications infrastructure, which is exactly what this funding does. I'll continue to work alongside partners at both the state and local level to ensure that the individuals keeping us safe are able to communicate during an emergency and can efficiently execute their ever-important work." 

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said, "Our ability to respond adequately to New Yorkers in crisis relies directly on our ability to communicate quickly, clearly and in real-time and these communications' infrastructure and emergency response upgrades do just that. I'm proud to work in partnership with the State on implementing these essential updates to better secure the safety of all neighborhoods and the entire state."

This funding comes as part of phase two of the 2018 Statewide Interoperable Communications Targeted Grant Program administered by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) to upgrade emergency communication systems across the state. Ulster is one of only five counties receiving an allocation from this round of funding.

Senator Michelle Hinchey represents the 46th Senate District, which includes Greene and Montgomery Counties and parts of Albany, Schenectady, and Ulster Counties. Senator Hinchey serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee.

James Skoufis represents the 39th Senate District, which includes parts of Orange, and Ulster, and Rockland Counties. Senator Skoufis serves as Chairman of the Investigations and Government Operations Committee.