CONTACT: AMY HOSKINS
[Note: If you are a First Responder looking for the course, see EMRTC.]
WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 18, 2002 - U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today heralded the release of nearly $15 million to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech), which the institute will specifically use to provide two terrorism-preparedness courses for First Responders.
The funding award was made to the Socorro institution through the U.S. Justice Department's (DOJ) Domestic Preparedness Training and Technical Assistance Program. Domenici, a member of the Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, secured the program funding in the FY2002 CJS Appropriations Act and last year's emergency supplemental bill.
"New Mexico Tech plays a significant role in supporting our government's anti-terrorism activities. That is why I continue to work to see that federal resources are allocated to support their work," Domenici said. "First Responders from all over the country travel just to receive anti-terrorism training, including this terrorism-preparedness instruction. I fully expect this program to expand as we ramp up homeland security activities."
New Mexico Tech is a member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), a partnership among the DOJ and five nationally recognized public universities that support the department's Office for Domestic Preparedness. Training courses are run through the school's Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center.
Domenici indicated that two awareness and operations-level "Incident Response to Terrorist Bombing" courses will be presented at the center to First Responders from around the country, including firefighters, law enforcement, medical and other emergency personnel trained to respond to acts of terrorism, including chemical, biological and nuclear attacks.
Domenici said the awareness-level course will provide basic instruction on weapons of mass destruction, with a focus on explosives and incendiary devices as terrorist weapons. It includes classroom presentations that address potential terrorist targets in U.S. communities, common military and commercial explosives, and response to procedures that support safe and effective operations during bomb incidents.
Domenici explained that the operations-level course will also provide basic training in weapons of mass destruction, with a focus on explosives and incendiary devices as terrorist weapons. It offers a blend of classroom presentations and covers commercial and military explosives, and improvised explosive formulations used by terrorists.
Domenici noted that New Mexico Tech's involvement in anti-terrorism activities has been extensive. He pointed out that the U.S. State Department Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program is carried out by Louisiana State University with New Mexico Tech as a partner.
The $15 million funding award is related to the 1996 Nunn-Lugar-Domenici law that created the First Responders program to provide training courses to local police and fire chiefs, health authorities, and local leaders who would likely be the first to arrive at the scene of an attack. The Nunn-Lugar-Domenici program has provided the United States with the ability to
detect, monitor, and deter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.