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Mutual Aid Emergency Management Compact Between New York, CT Announced

Mutual Aid Emergency Management Compact Between New York, CT Announced

The Saratogian, August 28, 2019

By Thomas Mulligan

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced a new mutual aid Emergency Management Inter-State Compact between New York and Connecticut.

The cooperative agreement will pave the way for both states' emergency responders and law enforcement agencies to better protect and prepare the region to react quickly and effectively during disasters and emergencies, both natural and man-made, with the goal of protecting lives and deploying critical resources more efficiently.

"Connecticut is our neighbor to the east, and there are many issues we are dealing with that are enhanced when we work cooperatively," Cuomo said. "The most important issue we can collaborate on is the safety of our residents which is why this emergency management partnership is so crucial.

"This agreement is about ensuring our two states have the resources we need during difficult times, and that's what neighboring states do."

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont agreed.

"The first thing I've learned is that our state borders are pretty artificial and we have a lot of overlap between us — from the Long Island Sound to Metro-North for our energy needs, and especially in terms of our security," Lamont said. "We are much better off when we work together and we are very fortunate to have Governor Cuomo as a neighbor, and I look forward to working with him very closely on all that we have to do together."

The New York National Guard and the Connecticut National Guard will conduct joint emergency management drills to bolster existing emergency response procedures and capabilities in response to a disaster.

These exercises will be developed collaboratively and will include one exercise in New York and one in Connecticut. These drills will test and enhance each state's preparedness and emergency response capabilities and enable the exchange of best practices and response assets.

Aviation equipment, such as helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), are proving to be highly valuable assets when responding to a natural disaster. These assets can be deployed to safely evaluate the scene of a disaster and determine the appropriate course of action prior to deploying personnel to potentially dangerous situations.

Accordingly, it is critical to regularly evaluate the condition of aviation assets as well as the policies and procedures that govern their use.   

Police and guard together back to top

The New York National Guard, New York State Police, Connecticut National Guard, and Connecticut State Police will jointly evaluate their current aviation capabilities for emergency response purposes. Specifically, both states will conduct an exercise to test their response to a brush fire that crosses state lines.

Under Governor Cuomo's directive, the Citizens Preparedness Corps was created in 2014 and has trained over 300,000 New Yorkers since its inception. The trainings teach an all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness, providing participants with the tools they need to keep themselves and their families safe during any emergency.

The New York National Guard conducts these trainings in collaboration with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. In an effort to expand this innovative program to more individuals and enhance emergency preparedness across the Northeast region, the New York agencies will partner with the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and the Connecticut National Guard to coordinate and enhance existing Citizen Preparedness Corps capabilities across both states.

The two states will come together during a joint seminar to share best practices and discuss how to bolster and enhance their respective Civil preparedness programs.

The New York State Police and Connecticut State Police will collaborate to evaluate their currently law enforcement technology deployments and identify areas for improvements. Each state will endeavor to enhance interoperability to enhance inter-state enforcement efforts. These technologies prove highly valuable to law enforcement investigations and this initiative will enable greater utilization of these technologies.

New York and Connecticut will establish a direct phone line between the Commanders of the State Police, Adjutants Generals and Homeland Security Advisors, respectively, to ensure heightened communication and coordination when responding to a natural or manmade disaster - including cyber incidents that impact either or both states.