Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: December 5, 2023
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Christian Martinez,

Bath County Awarded $2 Million DHS Grant to Support Regional Rural Emergency Communications

Funding to support improved interoperability and rural EMS communications

RICHMOND, VA — Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced $2 million in funding from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the Northern Alleghany Highlands Radio Project, serving Bath and Highland Counties. The grant will improve coordination of emergency medical care, strengthen preparedness and resilience, and improve emergency communications interoperability.

“Virginians are safer when our first responders can communicate and coordinate,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This grant helps our underserved localities improve public safety and enables rural communities to bolster safety measures through shared best practices and lessons learned. The Northern Alleghany Highlands Radio Project exemplifies the spirit of service in Virginia and I'm pleased that these resources will further our commitment to safety across the Commonwealth.”

“The ability for emergency responders to connect, communicate, and collaborate is crucial,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Terrance Cole. “Helping rural localities keep up with increasingly complex threats and disasters keeps us all safer.”

The priority of the Rural Emergency Medical Communications Demonstration Project (REMDCP) grant is to examine communications barriers and identify solutions that enhance existing emergency communications infrastructure to improve the delivery of rural medical care and address gaps in the implementation of the National Emergency Communications Plan (NECP).

“Working together through a regional approach is the right thing to do. By improving communications for first responders, we will improve patient care,” said Bath County Administrator Michael Bender. “We want to lead the way, showing even the smallest communities can empower the first responders who protect us all, and the REMCDP grant helps us do just that.”

“Public safety agencies across the country will be able to learn from this project,” said Terry Hall, Chair of Virginia’s Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee.

“I am excited and honored to work with Bath, Highland, and CISA to show that, with a little help, even smaller jurisdictions can choose interoperability up front,” said Statewide Interoperability Coordinator Gabe Elias.

Bath County is one of only three jurisdictions nationwide to receive REMCDP grant funding this fiscal year.


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