VFD receives huge Homeland Security grant - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

VFD receives huge Homeland Security grant

October 2, 2006

Valdosta - The Valdosta Fire Department has accepted a grant for over $1.1 million, the largest grant the Fire Department has ever received.  "This is part of a $44 million Department of Homeland Security grant program to help local governments combat terrorism and weapons of mass destruction," said Fire Chief J. D. Rice.

The Valdosta Fire Department will now be one of five agencies in Georgia to implement programs to prepare for terrorism attacks and other major disasters.  "It shows a lot of confidence in what we are trying to do here, a lot of support from other departments in Georgia and Southwest Georgia in particular for endorsing Valdosta to get this grant."

The grant will allow the fire department to purchase a new truck and equipment, including cameras, ultra sound machines and locator devices specific for the needs of responding to a terror attack or mass casualty incidents.

The grant will also fund training for the 77-man team it will take to run the new equipment and anti-terror initiative.  "The spectrum is so wide these people will have 400 hours of additional training just in those particular areas,"  Chief Rice adds.

The team will respond to any attacks in Albany, Valdosta, and Thomasville, as well as other cities throughout Southwest Georgia. 

They hope to receive the new equipment in a year.The Lowndes and Ware County Sheriff's Offices also received grants for more than $300,000. to implement a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive law enforcement team.

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