WASHINGTON COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The county Department of Public Safety was given recognition Wednesday for their work to keep communities safe, both through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Gov. Cuomo’s office announced in a joint release that the county was being given an Emergency Management Accreditation.
Washington County will be the 11th county in the state to recieve the accreditation.
“The safety of New Yorkers is our number one priority, and this first-in-the-nation program helps ensure local emergency management offices can efficiently respond to disasters while protecting the public,” Governor Cuomo said in a release. “By putting procedures in place to respond to unpredictable emergency situations, from extreme weather events to pandemics, we are creating a stronger, safer and more secure New York.”
The accreditation only comes to counties that meet a certain set of standards. Counties have to show significant coordination involving “whole community” stakeholders, referring to both government and private representatives of communities, in the safety process. They also must put effort into ensuring special care is taken for groups of residents with special needs, such as the homeless and the elderly.
Counties interested in the accreditation have to compile or develop the required plans and details and submit those to the state for review by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
“We are blessed to have a dedicated team in our Public Safety department, we are proud of the continued excellent work they do for all those in our county, our towns, villages and our first responder agencies,” wrote Washington County Board of Supervisors Chairman Samuel J. Hall in a news release. “Being only the eleventh agency to achieve the Emergency Management Accreditation in the state, our residents can rest assured that our Public Safety department is “top notch” and is always there whenever they need them.”
The department includes the county Emergency Management Office; and the Communications Center for Public Safety Answering Point, the county’s sole 911 operator, which operates fire departments in Bennington and Rutland counties in Vermont.
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