Grant will enable important, future public safety training exercise
The City’s Emergency Management Division has been notified that its application to fund the development of an emergency plan and exercise drill was approved. The City applied to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division for a Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grant. The City was notified on Thursday, February 16, that the $53,600 grant was approved.
The purpose of the grant is to develop an Emergency Railroad Incident Response planning document, test the Plan with a Tabletop exercise, and then conduct a full scale emergency response drill to a hazardous materials accident. The planned exercise will be related to a hypothetical railroad tanker car accident scenario at Levee Park later this summer. “The ability to develop a plan and hold this exercise will allow the City’s emergency responders and emergency response teams from the region to hold a drill in order to test and evaluate the City’s Emergency Response Plan to a railroad accident,” stated Police Chief Roger Pohlman.
Pohlman added, “Within the City’s 10 year Strategic Plan, developing proactive public safety initiatives that maintain a high level of safety in the community is just one of many goals of the plan. Developing the emergency rail response plan and holding an exercise drill is the priority project within Strategic Plan.” He added, “We are grateful to receive this funding from Department of Public Safety’s Homeland Security & Emergency Management Division.”
The funding for the HMEP program is passed through the State from the US Department of Transportation. This nationwide program is funded by registration fees collected from hazardous materials (hazmat) transporters, shippers and carriers who provide the transportation or transport of certain hazmat in intrastate, interstate, or foreign commerce.