Alabama receiving nearly $4M in Homeland Security grants; Cullman Co. receiving $52K

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MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey this week announced the state of Alabama is receiving a total of $3,980,000 through the Homeland Security Grant Program, which provides funding to state and local first responders to sustain and enhance protection, prevention and response capabilities to prevent terrorism and other catastrophic events.

“On both the state and local levels, safety and preparedness remain of high importance year-round. I am grateful to the Department of Homeland Security for providing nearly $4 million in funds to ensure Alabamians are protected and that we are ready to respond in any situation,” Ivey said. “Alabama’s law enforcement and first responders work diligently around-the-clock to protect our state, and these funds will go a long way in helping them do that.”

In Alabama, more than $1.8 million was awarded to local first responders in a statewide competitive grant process in three categories: interoperable communications, physical protective measures and public warning systems.

The Cullman County Commission was awarded $37,608 (100 percent reimbursement; no matching funds are required).

“This will be used to replace and update the security system at the Cullman County Water Department/Emergency Management Agency facility,” said Cullman EMA Director Phyllis Little. “The current system is 10-plus years old and beginning to fail.  The funds will be used to replace the electronics (cameras, key pads, etc.) with updated and more efficient equipment, add a monitoring station for cameras in the Emergency Operations Center, and replace security doors.   This grant meets state and federal objectives for security enhancement of critical facilities.”

Additionally, more than $900,000 was awarded to the state and local first responders in the Alabama Mutual Aid System. AMAS consists of fire services, communication and law enforcement teams specifically trained in search and rescue operations, hazardous materials response, swift-water rescue operations and explosive ordnance disposal response. The remaining funds will be retained for state-level projects.

Cullman EMA received $9,524.40 (100 percent reimbursement; no matching funds are required) for the Alabama State Mortuary Operations Team (SMORT).

“This will be used to provide training for the Alabama State Mortuary Operations Team (SMORT) that is coordinated through the Cullman County EMA.  Cullman County EMA manages all training funds for the team,” said Little. “The team is a part of the Alabama Mutual Aid System and a state resource to respond to mass fatality incidents resulting from natural or man-made disasters.  All members are from the emergency management community, the Alabama Funeral Directors Association and the Alabama Coroners Association.  With the exception of the EMA personnel, all other members are volunteers and receive no monetary compensation.  The funds are designated for training expenses.”

Cullman EMA also received $5,000 (100 percent reimbursement; no matching funds are required) for maintenance and equipment.

“These funds are to provide maintenance and equipment for the Alabama Strategic Technology Reserve (STR) cache of communications equipment that is housed and deployed by Cullman County EMA personnel as a part of the Alabama STR response group,” Little shared. “The cache consists of a mobile command trailer equipped with radios (mobile and handheld), satellite dish and other communications equipment that is used for large events such as Rock the South or deployed to other areas in the event of a catastrophic disaster (hurricane, tornado, man-made event, etc.).  The cache is a state resource that is housed and maintained by Cullman County EMA and deployed as requested by the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.”

“Governor Ivey continues to show her dedication to first responders in Alabama by working to secure these Homeland Security grants,” Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Sec. Hal Taylor said. “ALEA is pleased that this federal-state partnership will provide these resources to use in all hazard situations.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security administers these funds.