FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Virginia – July 19, 2023
The Virginia Chapters of APCO and NENA are thrilled to announce that after many years of advocacy, the Commonwealth of Virginia is launching a new grant program for workforce stabilization funding to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). This historic grant program is the direct result of our associations’ and stakeholders’ efforts to secure critical funding and resources for 9-1-1 call centers across the state.
VA-APCO and VA-NENA have been urging the Commonwealth legislature to allocate funding specifically to address workforce recruitment, training, and retention challenges. We have worked hand-in-hand with the Virginia 9-1-1 Services Board and VDEM to demonstrate the urgent need for dedicated funding to strengthen our 9-1-1 workforce.
Now our collective efforts have succeeded with the creation of the 9-1-1 Grant Program for Staffing Recognition, which will deliver vital funding to PSAPs across the Commonwealth. This program will provide one-time annual reimbursements of $2,500 for each full-time and $1,250 for each part-time dispatch positions for Virginia PSAPs, Virginia State Police, and local law enforcement agencies that receive Wireless E-911 funding. This will empower PSAPs to deliver faster, more effective emergency response by investing in their hardworking telecommunicators.
“This grant program is a monumental achievement for 9-1-1 and public safety in Virginia,” said Sonny Saxton, President of Virginia APCO. “Our associations will continue collaborating closely with the state to ensure the program’s success and advocate for ongoing support of our 9-1-1 professionals.”
Virginia NENA Chapter President, Judson Smith added, “We are overjoyed that the state has stepped up to support our 9-1-1 telecommunicators with this essential funding. This investment in our workforce will ultimately save lives across the Commonwealth.”
The Virginia 9-1-1 Services Board has announced a FY24/FY25 PSAP Grants Webinar on July 20, 2023, at 1:00 PM to provide more information about the program. Interested parties should reach out to the NGS Bureau in advance for webinar details. More information about Virginia’s PSAP Grant Program can also be found online at: https://psc.vdem.virginia.gov/pages/9-1-1-psap-grant-program.
The Virginia Chapters of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (VA-APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (VA-NENA) are non-profit associations representing the interests of 9-1-1 call centers and telecommunicators throughout the Commonwealth. We thank the many stakeholders, legislators, and partners who helped make this grant program a reality. Strong 9-1-1 systems with robust workforces save lives, and this new program will make a real difference in communities across Virginia.
Sonny Saxton, EMT-P, ENP
President, Virginia Chapter of APCO
Judson Smith, ENP
President, Virginia Chapter of NENA