DHS Gives $33.7 Million to First Responders

Just in time for the holidays, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security last week announced the award of $33.7 million to fund equipment and training for first responders across the nation as a part of the fiscal year 2007 Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP). Since the program's inception in 2005, DHS has provided roughly 5,800 direct assistance awards worth more than $103 million for all hazards in smaller jurisdictions nationwide.

"Local police and emergency personnel are the first on the scene of any incident, and often the cause is not immediately known," said DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, explaining the award program Dec. 20. "This direct funding equips first responders with technology and training to complement local resources, and helps communities develop tools and capabilities that they may not otherwise be able to afford."

Eligibility for CEDAP is limited to law enforcement and other emergency responder agencies with specific financial and capability needs in five categories: personal protective equipment; thermal imaging, night vision and video surveillance tools; chemical and biological detection tools; information technology and risk management tools; and interoperable communications equipment.

CEDAP equipment awards are integrated with state planning processes for regional response and asset distribution. Each state’s administrative agency has the opportunity to review applications submitted by first responder organizations within their state to ensure that equipment requests are consistent with their state homeland security strategy. Applications were accepted from April 25 to June 29, 2007 through the Responder Knowledge Base (www.rkb.mipt.org) Web site. For more information on CEDAP and other DHS grant programs, visit www.fema.gov.

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