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County to get Homeland Security funds

May 12, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County has received nearly $670,000 in federal Homeland Security dollars that will pay for protective clothing and equipment for police, fire, ambulance and other responding agencies in the event of chemical, biological or nuclear attacks.

"That's by far the largest grant award that we ever got," Emergency Services Director Joe Kroboth told the County Commissioners on Tuesday.

Kroboth said he received news of the $668,038 grant this week from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, which distributes the federal money.

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"This amount was more than we had anticipated, but we're obviously pleased," Kroboth said.

The money will be used to buy communications equipment for public safety agencies; biological, chemical and nuclear weapons detection equipment; protective clothing; and search and rescue equipment, he said.

Kroboth said an emergency services assessment team will review requests from emergency services agencies and determine how the money should be spent.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Capt. Douglas Mullendore said previous Homeland Security money equipped each cruiser with "to-go bags," which contain equipment such as protective suits and gloves and air masks.

Last year, the county received nearly $400,000 in the federal money.

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