Montgomery County Emergency team gets accreditation

New York Sate Division Homeland Security and Emergency Management Services Deputy Commissioner Kevin Wisely presents a plaque of accreditation to Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeff Smith and the team Tuesday. From the left is Chairman Robert Headwell, state Emergency Management Association President Chris Baker, Wisely, Smith and the Montgomery County Emergency Management Services team. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O'Hara)

FONDA — Montgomery County Emergency Management Services team received an accreditation from the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services on Tuesday.

This makes the team the fifth county emergency management team in the state to achieve accreditation.

Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Homeland Security Emergency Services Kevin Wisely and Chris Baker, president of the New York State Emergency Management Association, presented Montgomery County Emergency Management Services Director Jeff Smith the accreditation plaques.

“You’re very fortunate in this community to have such talented professional folks here dedicated to respond to any eventuality here in Montgomery County and help with the citizens,” Wisely said.

He said accreditation is not an easy task. Accrediting emergency management organization began over a year ago. Montgomery County is the fifth county in the state to achieve accreditation. Others include a New York City county, Broome, Livingston and Oneida.

“It’s not something that is taken lightly,” Wisely said. “We worked very closely with [Smith] and the team. A lot of hours and review of plans ensuring to have all the right things in place to ensure Montgomery County has a quality emergency management program,” Wisely said.

Wisely read the accreditation plaque which states, “Montgomery County Emergency Services has demonstrated excellence and professionalism in the field of emergency management by meeting the standards established by the New York State Emergency Management Accreditation Council. The council is therefore proud to recognize and award accreditation for a five year period beginning in May 2018.”

Baker said the accreditation takes the standards for emergency management to the highest point.

Smith thanked both Wisely and Baker for attending the meeting and thanked the county legislature for their support.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the work that these men and women do and our first responders countywide,” Smith said. “This is for all of them because they support our office and together we work very hard to try to keep the constituents in this county safe. Thank you guys for your dedication and hard work.