ALBANY — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $10 million in grant funding Friday to strengthen local emergency response operations across the state through improvements to 911 response and emergency service dispatch operations. The funding is administered by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services through the Public Safety Answering Points Operations Grant.

"New York remains steadfast in our commitment to providing our first responders with the tools they need to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies," Governor Cuomo said. "This critical funding will allow counties to make necessary upgrades to their emergency service dispatch operations, creating a safer, more secure Empire State."

The funding includes $187,468 for Steuben County, $130,863 for Allegany County and $178,825 for Livingston County.

"Emergency response services ensure the safety and well-being of residents across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This funding will help municipalities upgrade their 911 response and dispatch operations to increase public safety and enhance overall quality of life. We are committed to making sure communities have the resources and technology they need to improve emergency communications and operate efficiently."

Public safety facilities known as Public Safety Answering Points receive calls for help and initiate dispatching of emergency services. Throughout the state, counties provide the majority of 911 answering and dispatching operations, and coordinate services among municipal, county, and state responders. The annual grant allows for state reimbursement to counties for eligible public safety operating and dispatching expenses. All counties and New York City are eligible to apply to receive grant funds.

County operators can use the funding in many ways, including operating expenses, upgrades to dispatching technology and investment in services, such as text messaging, data communication and geo-location. Since the program's inception in 2010, counties have applied the funding to upgrades, including implementing text-to-911 services. This year, six counties added text-to-911 services to their emergency response resources, bringing the total number of counties with text-to-911 service up to 34 - more than 50 percent of all counties in the state.

New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy said, "These grants play an instrumental role in implementing new technology and resources to aid 911 centers in deploying assistance to New Yorkers as quickly as possible. With this funding in hand, our Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications continues working one-on-one with counties and local emergency management organizations to ensure plans are developed to improve their overall capabilities, but ensure our local partners are in line with the latest standards."

This grant is a non-competitive, formula-based grant. Funding is distributed among participating counties based on statistics reflective of a county's operational scope, demographic factors and emergency services call metrics. By participating in the program, counties affirm their adherence with state and national guidelines for emergency communications.