Governor Rendell Recommends More than $25 million for Local First Responders

Funds to Help Firefighters, Police, First Responders Communicate During a Disaster

HARRISBURG , Pa., Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced recommendations for more than $25 million in federal grants to help state and local first responders better communicate and coordinate with the public during natural or man-made disasters.

Governor Rendell said the recommendations are an integral part of allocating funding from the U.S. departments of Commerce and Homeland Security to Pennsylvania's statewide plan for public safety interoperable communications.

"When disasters strike, we want our first responders to have the best tools available," Governor Rendell said. "Allocating these grants to our firefighters, police officers and emergency responders will help them communicate most effectively in the minutes that matter most."

The grants are subject to final approval by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

If approved, the investments would help local public safety agencies acquire and use communications systems that enhance first responders' efforts to communicate with one another, and the public, via voice, data and/or video signals.

The funding would also support Pennsylvania's overall interoperability plan, which includes investing in advanced technologies, improving spectrum efficiency and using cost-effective measures like shared infrastructure to leverage existing investments.

Pennsylvania is taking an all-hazards approach by investing in advanced technologies and local plans that best address the need for response to any level or any type of emergency, from floods to fires to terrorist threats.

The Governor's Office of Administration, along with the Office of Public Safety Radio Services, is administering the interoperability plan.

The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit his Web site at:

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a list of grant recipient, or local investment, recommendations included in the statewide plan. Awards are not final until the Department of Homeland Security and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration have approved the investment justifications for each of the projects recommended for funding, to be submitted with the commonwealth's statewide communications interoperability plan by Dec. 3 . The recommended amounts for each regional counter-terrorism task force listed below may include multiple projects within the region.

North Central Regional Counter-Terrorism Task Force $750,000

Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties

Northeast Regional Counter-Terrorism Task Force $2,030,000

Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Susquehanna and Wayne counties

Northwest Central Counter-Terrorism Task Force $750,000

Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson and McKean counties

South Central Counter-Terrorism Task Force $4,000,000

Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon , Perry and York counties

Southeast Counter-Terrorism Task Force $9,450,000

Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties

Southwest Counter-Terrorism Task Force $8,253,718

Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor