LAKEPLEASANT - Hamilton County received a grant of $52,626 from the Office of Homeland Security to help fund the local bioterrorism officer and upgrade emergency services communications.
Emergency Management Services Director Don Purdy said the position, required by federal law, has been around for a number of years, originally funded through a five-year grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The position maintains emergency preparedness plans and stockpiles of items like flu vaccines to protect against epidemics. Currently, Purdy says, the county must apply annually for the newer grant, which provides partial funding, and another application for grant approval is already moving through the system.
The grant will also fund communications improvements required by January 2013. New regulations require upgrades to fire department, police and ambulance vehicles to ensure first responders can speak to one another on their radios.