Senator Michael Balboni (R-Mineola) was recently appointed to the state entity that will coordinate and promote a statewide network of emergency communication services.
"Police, firefighters and other emergency responders need to be able to talk to each other during times of crisis and they need a communication system they can count on," said Balboni, who chairs the state Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.
According to Balboni, emergency communications systems throughout New York State in many cases are outdated and inadequate, hindering local fire, police and rescue agencies' response efforts. "We learned too late that communication problems prevented rescue workers in lower Manhattan from being able to talk to each other on September 11, 2001," he said. "And we know similar problems continue to dog emergency communication systems throughout the state as well."
Balboni will serve as a member of the Statewide Wireless Network Coordinating Committee, chaired by New York State's Chief Information Officer. Governor George Pataki created the Statewide Wireless Network project in 2000, with the aim of creating an integrated network that would make emergency radio networks throughout the state compatible.
Other members of the Statewide Wireless Coordinating Committee include representatives from the following state agencies: Office for Technology, Office of Public Security, State Police, Department of Correctional Services, Department of Transportation, Emergency Management Office, Office of Fire Prevention and Control, Department of Environmental Conservation, Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Thruway Authority.