Washington D.C. – U.S. Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign of Nevada announced five grants, totaling more than $21 million, to help train and equip emergency responders in Nevada.
“This is good news for Nevada,” said Reid. “We all know that Las Vegas and Reno are potential targets for terrorists, so it is critical that our first responders have the training and equipment they need to deal with any scenario.”
“These resources will help ensure the safety of Nevadans in a time of crisis,” said Ensign. “We must make certain that all levels of government, especially first responders, are trained to protect residents during an emergency.”
St. Rose de Lima Hospital, St. Rose San Martin Hospital and St. Rose Siena Hospital will each be awarded grants of $100,000 as part of the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI). These grants will be used to equip and prepare these hospitals for possible terrorist or weapons of mass destruction attacks. The UASI program exists to provide additional resources to urban areas that have greater security needs, to fund first responders, and to support the state and local resources needed to prevent, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other disasters. Earlier this year when Nevada’s UASI funding was reduced, Reid and Ensign met with Homeland Security Secretary David Chertoff to ensure Nevada received its fair share going forward. As a result of that meeting, Las Vegas’ UASI funding was increased 16.5% over last year’s mark.
$20,840,000 will be awarded to the Nevada Test Site to fund large-scale field exercises. These exercises will train responders in explosive and weapons of mass destruction scenarios and will employ live-agent stimulants to make the scenarios as life-like as possible.
$486,692 will be awarded to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to fund the Frontline Responder Train the Trainer Program. This program focuses on training strategies with a focus on emergency management in large venues such as shopping malls, casinos, and sporting arenas.
This money, which comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is part of a larger effort to prepare states for possible incidents involving terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.