Newport News Awarded $172,194
Governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced the allocation of grant funds to enhance emergency preparedness and security throughout the Commonwealth. Administered by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management
, the funds will support a wide array of emergency preparedness and security operations, equipment replacement, training, planning and exercise programs by local governments.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management received 139 grant requests to compete for the competitive portion of these federal funds. Awards have funded a diverse group of programs such as community outreach and preparedness programs, interoperability efforts, railroad safety initiatives, sheltering programs, and active shooter exercises.
The City of Newport News received competitive grant awards for
- Community Preparedness – Micro Learning in the amount of $19,325. The Micro Learning Project transforms the Federal Emergency Management Agency Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) curriculum into a user-friendly, online Learning Management System. This program provides consistent baseline training online using lectures and videos while increasing available time for additional hands on training and drills.
- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) – Grant funded since 2008, the $15,163 award supports the various training approaches used by CERT for citizen first responders.
- Regional Bomb Squad X-Ray Equipment – The award of $59,000 provides an additional level of safety when a suspicious item is found. The x-rays will help to determine whether the item is hazardous and how to disarm if needed. The Newport News Bomb Squad covers multiple localities on the Peninsula including Williamsburg, James City County, Hampton and others.
In addition, Newport News was awarded a non-competitive grant in the amount of $78,706 for the State Hazardous Material Team. Non-competitive grants from this year’s State Homeland Security Program were used to fund 29 projects sustaining 12 hazardous materials teams, seven technical rescue teams, four incident management teams, four Virginia radio communications caches, and the Virginia Fusion Center.
“While federal grants to Virginia for emergency management and homeland security have been cut by nearly 70 percent since 2008, Virginia has worked to become more strategic in how money is allocated to meet our security needs,” said Dr. Jeff Stern, VDEM’s State Coordinator for Emergency Management.