Two counties in Virginia – Bath and Highland – will use a $2 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to 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 Gov. 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 governor’s office explained that 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).

“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 state also noted that Bath County is one of only three jurisdictions nationwide to receive REMCDP grant funding this fiscal year.

“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.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs