$17.7 million in Homeland Security funding for Boston announced
February 17, 2016
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston and the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region (MBHSR) have received $17.7 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant program.
"I am extremely proud of the strong partnership between the City of Boston and the Department of Homeland Security," said Mayor Walsh. "I'm grateful for Secretary Johnson's continued support of our world-class City, and a special thanks to our Massachusetts delegation -- Senators Warren and Markey, Congressman Lynch and Capuano - who have been incredibly supportive during the process. The City of Boston has always placed a premium on the safety and security of our first responders, and this grant funding provides critical resources and ensures long term resiliency."
The Mayor's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is the agency responsible for ensuring the City has plans to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters. During emergencies, OEM operates the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) where City agencies gather to share critical information and coordinate response for managing an incident. OEM is also entrusted with managing homeland security funding for the entire MBHSR region comprised of Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Quincy, Revere, Somerville and Winthrop.
"Whether natural or man-made, emergencies can happen anytime. This funding allows us to enhance the capabilities of our first responders, ensuring they are trained and prepared for any potential emergency or disaster," said Rene Fielding, OEM Director. "The program will also support efforts to work with Boston's surrounding communities in preparing for emergencies."
Past funding has supported initiatives in communications interoperability by providing the capability to allow first responders to clearly and seamlessly communicate with one another and in running Urban Shield Boston, the largest first responder exercise conducted in New England and the cornerstone of the MBHSR training and exercise program. Urban Shield Boston was last held in May 2014 and involved approximately 2,000 emergency response personnel from more than 50 local, state and federal agencies. The goal of Urban Shield is to test and evaluate specific public safety capabilities that have been developed, or enhanced, with the investment of funds received through the UASI grant program.
UASI program funding addresses the unique multi-disciplinary planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas, and assists them in building capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from threats or acts of terrorism. The City of Boston was designated as an UASI site in 2003.
To receive emergency notifications from OEM by phone, email or text sign up for an AlertBoston account at www.cityofboston.gov/oem/alertboston. To learn more about the Office of Emergency Management, visit www.boston.gov/oemor follow @oemboston on Twitter.