Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher Presents $126,934 Check to Washington County for First Responders' Communications Equipment

Press Release Date:  Friday, January 20, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body
502-564-2611

Jason Keller
502-564-2081
 


Washington County/Springfield also recognized for their achievements in improving public safety

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today presented a $126,934 homeland security check to Washington County to fund communications equipment for the county’s first responders. The Governor also honored Springfield and Washington County for the advances they have made in improving safety and homeland security by naming them “Prepared Kentucky Communities.”

“Ensuring that our commonwealth’s first responders can communicate effectively is a critical concern that we are addressing throughout Kentucky,” said Governor Fletcher. “As many Kentuckians understand, whenever we cannot get cell phone coverage in an area, it is a real inconvenience. But, whenever our first responders cannot get radio communications, it can have very serious consequences. This funding to Washington County will help fix this problem and ensure a greater level of public safety for this community.”

The homeland security check presented today will provide the county with repeaters that will fix communications “dead spots” and allow first responders, many of whom may have different types of radio equipment, the ability to talk to one another via that equipment.

Senator Dan Kelly said, “Communications is critical among first-responders.  I commend the Fletcher Administration for recognizing this issue; I know the funds will be put to good use in Washington County.”

The Governor also named the City of Springfield and Washington County as “Prepared Kentucky Communities;” the result of a five-day vulnerability assessment conducted by security professionals with the Kentucky Community Preparedness Program. Assessors analyzed facilities, structures and security policies and their relationship to each other in order to identify the community’s weaknesses and analyze preparedness levels. The team then presented a report of recommendations for improvements.

“I want to recognize Springfield and Washington County for their commitment to improving security here in this community,” said Gov. Fletcher. “Since the team has left, the city and county have made tremendous strides in making the entire area safer.”

Among the advances the community has made since the assessment is the development of an exercise planned for later this year which will better prepare first responders and the local school district for a potential emergency. Local officials also formed a group to discuss areas of concern raised by the assessment and they have worked to ensure each of the sites assessed received and understood the recommendations made by the assessment team.

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The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security has been charged by Governor Fletcher to lead the Commonwealth's coordination and collaboration efforts with public and private preparedness partners to ensure Kentucky is Ready and Prepared. For more information about homeland security in Kentucky, please visit www.homelandsecurity.ky.gov.