Barletta Leads Hearing on Importance of Emergency Preparedness Grants
Click on the above photo to view footage of Rep. Barletta during today's hearing
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today led a hearing on the effectiveness of emergency preparedness grant programs that allow communities to identify and respond to disasters. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, Barletta discussed the role these grants play in helping communities save lives, property, and resources when dealing with threats to public safety.
“As a former mayor, I know all too well what it means to be a good neighbor and how critical help from your surrounding communities can be in times of emergency,” Barletta said. “No single community can handle every disaster on its own, and no community can afford all of the equipment and personnel to handle every disaster. National preparedness grants make it possible for mutual aid between communities and across our country.”
Barletta specifically highlighted the Nonprofit Security Grant (NSG) Program, which is helping Jewish Community Centers (JCC’s) across the country to combat the recent wave of bomb threats.
“The threats we are seeing at Jewish communities across the country are outrageous and unacceptable,” Barletta said. “This is domestic terrorism and the full force of the law needs to be brought against the perpetrators.”
Michael Feinstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, and William Daroff, Senior Vice President for Public Policy of the Jewish Federations of North America, testified that NSG grants have been instrumental in helping JCC’s respond to bomb threats.
“These funds have been critical for us,” Feinstein said. “These grants make a tremendous difference for our JCC’s and other JCC’s.”
Barletta also touted the success of the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Program, which allows local fire departments across the 11th District to purchase equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources.
Art Martynuska, President of the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association, said that small and rural departments rely on these grants to operate.
“The basic tenets of fire protection are supported by these grants,” Martynuska said. “In some of our smaller, rural departments, if these grants weren’t available, these departments would go out of existence.”