The County Emergency Management Office is designated to provide the centralized coordination of all these management activities, including coordination of resources, manpower and services and the centralized direction of requests for assistance, during man-made and natural disasters.
Emergency Management responsibilities date back to the Congressional Act of 1803 that is generally considered the origin of disaster legislation. Since that time, disaster management came under various governmental departments, probably most notably, Civil Defense Preparedness Agency before becoming known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
County responsibilities are closely related to the responsibility of the local levels of government within the County, i.e., the city, towns and incorporated villages, to manage all phases of disasters. The county has the responsibility to assist the local levels of government in the event that they have fully committed their resources and are still unable to cope with any disaster. Similarly, New York State is obligated to provide assistance to the county after resources have been exhausted and the county is unable to cope with the disaster.
The County Emergency Management Office works closely with the New York State Emergency Management Office (SEMO) and the Federal Emergency Management Office (FEMA) in Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Mitigation, involving either man-made or natural disasters.
County Emergency Alert Notifications
Sign up for SMART911 emergency alerts to be delivered to your cell phone and email address in then event of the following types of emergencies:
- Imminent or perceived threats to life or property
- Disaster notifications
- Public Health emergencies
- Public Safety Emergencies
Programs and Resources
- Auxiliary Police
The Schenectady County Auxiliary Police O.E.M. is a Community based volunteer out reach unit established pursuant to provisions of the Civil Defense Act of 1950 and is composed of civic-minded residents of the community who work together to improve the level of safety and security in their community.
Working under the Office of Emergency Management (O.E.M.) and the Schenectady County Sheriff's Department, the Schenectady County Auxiliary Police support Schenectady County's professional police agencies with additional policing resources at special events or in times of civil emergencies. Under the direction of Chief Ray Feurstein, these resources normally provide assistance with traffic control, crowd control, and Police presence and security.
The Auxiliary Police meet the third Tuesday of every month at the Auxiliary Police Head Quarters.
The Schenectady County Auxiliary Police are DCJS (Department of Criminal Justice) certified highly trained and disciplined individuals. The Schenectady County Auxiliary Police unit currently consists of 32 members devoted to helping Schenectady County and City residents make their communities a safer place to live and work. This devotion to the community not only reaches into neighborhoods but also into the businesses and schools that make up all of the Schenectady County area and beyond. The presence of the Auxiliary Police, in uniform, within the community has been proven to deter and or reduce vandalism, random nuisance and annoyance issues during details as well as other crimes in the community.
The Schenectady County Auxiliary Police O.E.M. Unit is a non-profit, strictly volunteer organization. Donations to the unit are made through some of the many organizations this unit supports throughout the year.
- Ambulance Services
- Emergency Medical Services Committee
Schenectady County Legislature Resolution 138-79 established the Schenectady County Emergency Medical Services Committee on June 12, 1979 and charged the committee with coordinating and implementing the operations of the Emergency Medical Services System and transmitting their recommendations to the legislative body.
The hospitals, fire, rescue, and EMS services within the County are all represented on the committee and meet monthly to discuss pertinent EMS issues including but not limited to patient care, continuing education for providers, interagency cooperation, community education, County MCI plan and quality improvement.
Committee members are appointed by their respective agencies, and serve one-year renewable terms. Additionally, the County Fire/EMS Coordinator, Office of Emergency Management hold a non-voting seat on the Committee. One At-Large member from the community is appointed by the County Legislature who also appoints a legislator as a non-voting liaison.
The EMS Committee is also responsible for soliciting nominations for the annual EMS Awards presented each year in May. A subcommittee is established to review all nominations and select deserving nominees. Formal presentations are made to award recipients at the annual EMS Recognition Dinner which is held at Ellis Hospital – Nott Street Campus. The nominations and names of the local recipients are then forwarded to the Regional Council for award consideration on the regional level.
Meetings are held on the third Monday of each month at Ellis Hospital - McClellan Street Campus, Conference Room, with no meetings held in July or August. The meetings start at 6:00 PM. Schenectady County EMS providers are invited and encouraged to attend any meeting.
- Emergency Preparedness
NYS Department of Health - Emergency Preparedness and Response
Build A Disaster Supplies Kit (Red Cross)
READY America – U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Preparation and Planning
Northestern Red Cross
- County Fire Coordinator
Scott Pike - County Fire Coordinator
The County Fire Coordinators Office coordinates, maintains and administers a number of programs and services for meeting the needs of local fire departments and emergency medical service (EMS) agencies.
- Maintains the County fire radio system
- Administers the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control Outreach Training Program
- Administers the Hazardous Materials Response Team
- Administers the County Fire Mutual Aid Program
- Administers the County Mass Casualty Incident Response plan
- Maintains a Communications and Command Vehicle
- Acts as a Regional Fire Administrator upon the activation of the State Mutual Fire Aid Plan
- Fire Advisory Board
The County Fire Advisory Board develops, promotes and administers a plan for the mobilization of fire department equipment and personnel, and the training of fire department members in the county of Schenectady in order to provide maximum protection to the communities of the County in cooperation with the State of New York and/or other designated branch(es) or division(s) whose purpose if the administration of fire service programs.
- Fire Training
We are here to provide firefighters with the most current fire training available. We strive to provide a variety of courses to meet the needs of our departments. Our instructors have many years of experience as teachers as well as in the fire service and work to make classes informative and interesting.
- Hazard Mitigation Plan
The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000) was signed into law by President Clinton on October 30, 2000. The law places new emphasis on local mitigation planning to promote a proactive disaster preparedness approach and reduce the growing cost of disaster relief efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The law requires State and Local jurisdictions to develop a Hazard Mitigation Plan and update it every five years to qualify for specific post-disaster grants. For the past two years, the County Economic Development and Planning Department, Office of Emergency Management and the Mitigation Planning Committee have been working with the County’s eight local municipalities to update the Hazard Mitigation Plan. The purpose of this plan is to assess the impacts of natural hazards and develop a strategy with long-term solutions and alternatives for addressing these problems. While we can't prevent natural events such as tornadoes or flooding from occurring, we may be able to reduce the impact of these events and improve our ability to respond and recover when they do occur.
- Local Emergency Planning Committee
The Schenectady County "Local Emergency Planning Committee" (LEPC) is established pursuant to Subtitle A. Section 301 of Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, also know as the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). The LEPC duties include the development and coordination of emergency response plans for chemical facilities within the county. Along with the response planning, the LEPC also develops plans to educate, communicate, and protect local communities in case of a chemical release or other incidents that may occur within the county.
The LEPC is a community-based organization composed of government officials, emergency response personnel, industry leaders, environmental representatives, media, and interested citizens of Schenectady County.
The LEPC meets on the third Thursday of each month at the South Schenectady Fire Department. The meeting starts at 12:15 PM. The public is welcome to attend.
- Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)
Founded in 1952, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) is a public service provided by a reserve (volunteer) communications group within government agencies in times of extraordinary need. During periods of RACES activation, certified unpaid personnel are called upon to perform many tasks for the government agencies they serve. Although the exact nature of each activation will be different, the common thread is communications.
Whatever need arises, trained ACS personnel are ready and prepared to help, via RACES or other means. ACS groups develop and maintain their communications ability by training throughout the year with special exercises and public-service events. When that fateful day occurs, ACS will be there to meet the challenge.
To join ACS and to be able to participate in RACES and other government emergency communications activities, contact your local, county, or state ACS or RACES Radio Officer or Coordinator.
Notify the EMO office for more information on becoming a RACES member.
- Volunteer Incentive Program
Each volunteer firefighter/EMS agency is requested to annually provide a roster of volunteers to the County Manager. The names on these rosters will be forwarded to the agencies below participating in the incentive program.
Incentive #1: Scholarship Fund at Schenectady County Community College (SCCC)
The County provides funds for volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers. These volunteers are eligible to utilize the scholarship fund for one course per semester. Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
*Process for Incentive #1: The volunteer must procure a letter from his/her agency chief stating that he/she is an active volunteer and that the coursework is approved. The volunteer then needs to contact the Office of Fire Coordinator to ensure funds are available. The volunteer should call 370-3113 x2 to obtain a letter. Once approved and after receiving a tuition bill, the volunteer should present this letter to the SCCC Student Business Office for processing. Tuition and fees for one course per semester will not be charged.
Contact: Jenny C. Ramsundar, Senior Bookkeeper, 381-1346
Incentive #2: Free textbook for the basic EMT course at SCCC
Volunteers can receive a free copy of the textbook required for the basic, original EMT course offered at SCCC. This textbook is normally priced at $140.00. Funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
*Process for Incentive #2: The volunteer must procure a letter from his/her agency chief stating that he/she is an active volunteer and that the coursework is approved. The volunteer should present this letter to the SCCC Bookstore at the time of purchase. The volunteer will not be charged.
Contact: Jenny C. Ramsundar, Senior Bookkeeper, 381-1346
Incentive #3: Free permit cards for the Schenectady County Farm
Valued at $15 each, these annual permit cards will allow volunteers free residential recycling and yardwaste disposal, plus participation in the household hazardous waste program.
*Process for Incentive #3: A volunteer listed on the roster need only appear in person and present a photo ID to receive the incentive free of charge. Paperwork normally required for the service will still need to be completed.
Contact: David Mosher, Conversation District Programs Coordinator, 399-6980
Incentive #4: Free rabies shots for pets through Schenectady County Environmental Health
Volunteers will be able to get free rabies shots for pets (normally an $8 donation).
*Process for Incentive #4: A volunteer listed on the roster need only appear in person at a County-run rabies vaccination clinic to receive the incentive free of charge. Paperwork normally required for the service will still need to be completed. Please call County Environmental Health for the date and time of the next clinic.
Contact: Andrew Suflita, Schenectady County Director of Environmental Health, 386-2818
Incentive #5: Property Tax Exemption
Section 466-e of the Real Property Tax Law authorizes the governing body of a county, town, village, fire district or school district in a county having a population of between 146,000 and 150,000 according to the latest federal decennial census (only Schenectady County currently satisfies this standard) to partially exempt the residence of a volunteer firefighter or volunteer ambulance worker.