Besides catching bad guys and rescuing kids from danger (see post on 1/4) Kent’s Police and Fire Departments are continually looking and applying for state and federal grants to help pay for the expensive apparatus and equipment that is a critical part of their jobs. As tragic as 9-11 was it did lead to a number of new funding initiatives through Homeland Security that the City of Kent has been able to take advantage of. The latest example was the Fire Department’s success at securing funding for new hazardous chemical detection equipment valued at $30,000 through a CEDAP grant. The state of the art equipment will be used by the Haz Mat Team which means it will be available to not just Kent residents
For those that may not be familiar with CEDAP grants, CEDAP is a federal funding source that helps meet the equipment needs of smaller jurisdictions by providing communications interoperability, information sharing, chemical detection, sensors, personal protective equipment, technology, and training in using the equipment, devices, and technology. Here’s a copy of the CEDAP press release:
“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today 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 Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “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.”
Here’s the list from the CEDAP web site of what was awarded, and below that you’ll see that Kent was one of 13 cities to be awarded the chemical equipment.
And last but not least, here’s the memo from the Fire Chief announcing the award.
TO: Dave Ruller, City Manager
FROM: Jim Williams, Fire Chief
RE: Commercial Direct Equipment Assistance Program (CEDAP) Grant Award
I am pleased to announce that the City of Kent Fire Department has been awarded a grant under the Commercial Direct Assistance Program. CEDAP provides emergency response agencies with the equipment and technology that they need to fulfill their homeland security mission. It is an important component of a larger, coordinated effort to strengthen our Nation’s overall preparedness baseline. CEDAP’s primary focus is to enhance regional response capabilities, mutual aid, and interoperability communications in jurisdictions ineligible to receive assistance under the Department of Homeland Security Urban Security Initiative.
The Department has been selected to receive the CEDAP Chemical Detection Kit. This kit includes the Ahura First Defender and the Sirus MultiGas Detector. Both of these pieces of equipment will enhance our Hazmat Teams capability to quickly detect and identify toxic industrial chemicals, narcotics, contraband, chemical weapons and white powders. It will also increase our ability to simultaneously monitor for volatile organic compounds while measuring for combustible, toxic and oxygen deficient atmospheres.
This equipment along with other equipment purchases has given us the ability to reduce the amount of time it takes to identify or confirm chemicals, biological, radiological and explosive agents in a short amount of time. In the old days, (2 years ago) it could take 2-3 hours to identify a chemical. Now we can identify most chemicals in less than 5 minutes. This increased technology enhances our ability to quickly control situations and improves our team member’s safety.
This grant was applied for by the fire department on behalf of the Hazmat Team due to the team being ineligible to apply. Under the guidelines only local governments can apply. The equipment will be house here in the City and available for our department on a daily basis in addition to the Hazmat Team.
While the grant does not specify the value of the equipment, we have determined for us to purchase the equipment it would cost between $25,000.00 and $35,000.00