EMA receives $50,000 homeland security grant

By Julie Fann
Star Staff

Jim Burrough, Emergency Management Agency Director, believes the new $50,000 homeland security grant Carter County recently received will benefit preparedness in the event of a terrorist attack. The state-awarded grant is part of the Tennessee Domestic Preparedness Program.
   "We want to organize a hazardous materials team. The EMA plans to meet next week and discuss what we're actually going to do with this grant. We have a list that we have to follow, so we can only spend the money on certain things," Burrough said. He said that money could go toward equipment for the police bomb squad as well as medical supplies and protective clothing in the event of a chemical or biological threat.
   Stan Copeland, Director of Planning and Training for the state's terrorism program, said that Carter County qualified for the grant based on a needs assessment study conducted in 1999. "These are federal dollars that come through the Department of Justice to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to assist local governments in purchasing equipment to fight terrorism," he said.
   Copeland said TEMA established nine different categories that grant money could go toward: Personal Protective Equipment, Explosive Device Mitigation and Remediation Equipment, WMD Technical Rescue Equipment, Inter-operable Communications Equipment, Detection Equipment, Decontamination Equipment, Physical Security Enhancement Equipment, General Support Equipment, medical supplies, and limited types of pharmaceuticals.
   The EMA office is also waiting on paperwork to be completed for another grant for $20,000, to be used for upgrading communication capabilities. Burrough said they were hopefully getting new equipment to make identification badges for Emergency First Responders with that money.