Langevin and Kennedy Support Bill to Aid Front Line Municipal Depts. in Preparing for Terrorist Attacks

Oct 12, 2001
(Washington, D.C.)–Congressmen Patrick Kennedy and Jim Langevin today joined with several of their colleagues to introduce legislation providing $1.5 billion for local fire and police departments, emergency medical teams and health professionals who constitute the fist line of response to terrorist attacks.   

 The Municipal Preparation and Strategic Response Act of 2001 would provide grants to localities to ensure they are fully prepared, equipped and trained for emergency and security issues that might arise from terrorist attacks or other catastrophes.  It would also provide for a coordinated regional response utilizing federal, state and local agencies. 

 "Should an attack ever occur in Rhode Island, local fire departments, law enforcement personnel, emergency medical teams and medical professionals would be the first to respond and take the greatest risk," said Congressman Jim Langevin.  "As witnessed by the horrific acts against our nation on September 11, there is a clear need for a coordinated response plan between all state and local agencies in the State of Rhode Island.  We must ensure that our first response teams have the proper equipment, training and communications strategies in place."      

  "I am proud to support this legislation which provides funding to municipal agencies for the planning needed to ensure they are fully prepared, equipped and trained for any issues that may arise from terrorist attacks," said Congressman Kennedy.  "This funding will ensure the utmost of preparedness for our communities.  On top of these initiatives, the bill adds money to the COPS program and the Assistance to Firefighters Program, existing initiatives of importance to our local law enforcement agencies."     
 Under the bill, FEMA would make federal grants available to local government and emergency response units to develop plans that provide for a clearly defined and unified response to a terrorist attack or other catastrophe.         

 Additionally, the Municipal Preparation and Strategic Response Act of 2001 would assist cities and towns in identifying potential terrorist targets and creating specific response plans for those targets.         
 Through the grant program, $1 billion would be authorized to carry out the Local Emergency Response and Preparedness Grant Program; $250 million would go to the Firefighter Assistance Grant Program to purchase new equipment; and $250 million would be available for a new COPS program for counter terrorism training.