According to Cherokee County EMA Director Shawn Rogers his agency was notified earlier this week by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency that five Cherokee County public safety agencies and organizations received grants funded by Homeland Security.
Director Rogers, who is the Homeland Security Point of Contact for Cherokee County, said his agency received official notification that the Cherokee County Association of Volunteer Fire Departments, McCord’s Fire Department, Mt. Weisner Fire Department, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency were awarded Homeland Security grants totaling $162,400.00.
The Mt. Weisner Fire Department, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, and Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency will be purchasing additional radios which are compatible with the new P-25 public safety communication system.
Also every Fire Department in Cherokee County will be receiving a new Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and McCord’s Fire Department will receive some new Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. Director Rogers said, “This equipment will be used to save lives and assist the county’s first responders in making sure that the citizens are being provided with the best services possible,” adding “without programs like these, departments wouldn’t be able to afford this level of equipment.”
Director Rogers says that this grant program is a very competitive, with agencies from all across the state applying for these grants – with only a limited number being awarded. This year the priority categories for applying were:
- Interoperable Communications
- Soft Target – Critical Infrastructure Protection
- Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) response and prevention.
Director Rogers wishes to thank the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and Department of Homeland Security for providing and administering the program, stressing that without the dedicated men and women of these two agencies, this opportunity would not be possible.
Sheriff Jeff Shaver also wishes to express his sincere appreciation to Director Shawn Rogers for going above and beyond in working to bring grant funds to the Sheriff’s Office and other local agencies to help better serve the citizens of Cherokee County.