Langevin Announces $3 Million Federal Grant for State Emergency Management Agency

Sep 13, 2002
(Washington, D.C.)–Congressman Jim Langevin today announced that the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) has been awarded $3,063,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) State Domestic Preparedness Program.  Authorization for the funding was included in the USA PATRIOT Act, which Langevin supported.  The legislation was passed by the House and signed by President Bush in October 2001.  

 According to the DOJ, RIEMA will use the federal funds for the purchase of emergency responder equipment, costs related to planning, conducting and evaluating weapons of mass destruction exercises and administrative costs.  

 “As our nation’s military fights the war against terrorism overseas, here at home we must provide local authorities with the training, equipment and communication capabilities they need to prevent and contain any future acts of terrorism on American soil,” said Congressman Langevin.  “Municipal governments, local emergency responders, health departments and hospitals are an integral part of the defense of our nation and are the first line of response to catastrophes in the United States, as we saw in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.  Thanks to this federal grant by the Department of Justice, Rhode Island will be better-trained and prepared with state of the art equipment to avert or handle a statewide crisis."

 The DOJ adds that the state is making its equipment, exercises and administrative requests based on the results of a statewide assessment of first responder needs and capabilities gathered by local jurisdictions throughout the state.  The assessment provided state officials with a threat and vulnerability profile through which specific needs and capabilities for emergency responder equipment, training, exercise support and technical assistance requirements were identified.  The state administrative agency used the information to develop a statewide domestic preparedness strategic plan, which outlines how the state will allocate federal funding to address the needs identified through this process.

 Portions of the $3,063,000 will be used by RIEMA for the following areas: Administrative Costs, $150,000; Equipment Acquisition Costs, $2,777,000; and Exercise Related Costs, $136,000.
“In addition to responding, local public safety and health authorities have a significant role in preventing acts of terrorism before they happen,” added Langevin.  “Historically, of the nearly $9 billion spent on counter-terrorism each year by the federal government, less than $350 million is ever provided to municipalities. I am working in Congress to increase this funding.”