by Matt Rosenberg December 13th, 2010
SUMMARY: The Snohomish County Council is in the process of approving the county’s receipt of a $1.895 million federal grant to enhance preparedness for possible terrorist attacks in Snohomish County involving chemical, biological, nuclear or explosive devices. The money would be used for improvements to the county sheriff’s helicopter, the county’s back-up emergency operations center, for a Heavy Rescue Apparatus vehicle, SWAT counter-terrorism training of sheriff’s officers, and medical, logistics and cross-jurisdictional terrorism response planning.
BACKGROUND: On 12/27/10, according to the meeting agenda, the Snohomish County Council ’s Law and Justice/Human Services committee will consider a recommendation from County Executive Aaron Reardon the the county council receipt for use in calendar year 2011 of a $1,895,010 Urban Area Security Initiative terrorism preparedness grant to Snohomish County from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, delivered through the Washington State Military Department.
These DHS grants are provided nationally for key urban areas considered to be higher-priority terrorism targets and to strengthen response capabilities to attacks involving chemical, biological, nuclear or explosive devices. Recipients in Washington state are the cities of Seattle and Bellevue and the counties of Snohomish, King and Pierce.
KEY LINK: Proposed Motion 10-587 agenda packet for Snohomish County Council Law and Justice/Human Services Committee meeting, regarding Urban Area Security Initiative grant.
- If the committee and then the county council approve the grant, the funds will be used for several purposes.
- Purchase, install and test airframe engine equipment to improve the performance of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s helicopter.
- Purchase and test a Heavy Rescue Apparatus for the Snohomish County Technical Rescue Force for use in the event of an attack involving chemical, biological, nuclear or explosive devices or weapons of mass destruction.
- Purchase, install and test new generator wiring and an extended regional fiber optic network – both for Snohomish County’s back-up Emergency Operations Center.
- Conduct medical operations and logistics planning in order to be fully prepared to manage resources, and patient movements, identify facilities and prioritize equipment to be used, in the event of a terrorist attack.
- Do Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) counter-terrorist training and exercises for county sheriff’s personnel.
- Coordinate with other urban areas and state to meet needs of vulnerable groups and heighten awareness of community response priorities in the event of a terrorist attack.