The Texas Engineering Extension Service, a member of the Texas A&M University System, will receive $4 million in congressional funding for its counterterrorism training program beginning Oct.1, 1999.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for the Departments of Commerce, Justice and State, the Judiciary and related agencies, was instrumental in securing these funds. This award doubles the congressional funding TEEX’s National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center received last year.
TEEX director Dr. G. Kemble Bennett said, “Sen. Hutchison has worked hard to ensure that the nation’s first responders are equipped and trained to do their jobs in the event of terrorist attacks. She has been our strongest supporter and introduced language in 1998 that established our national training center. As a result of her leadership, we will have the capability to train more than 14,800 firefighters, emergency medical personnel and law enforcement officers over the next year in critical topics related to weapons of mass destruction.”
Bennett says the funds, to be distributed through the Department of Justice, will be used to develop and implement training programs for federal, state and local emergency responders. Courses under development and/or being taught include Emergency Medical Service Operations and Planning, Tactical Emergency Medical Services, Weapons of Mass Destruction – Incident Management, Threat and Risk Assessment and an Internet Awareness course.
Training will be conducted at the center in College Station as well as throughout the state and nationally. Some programs will be offered over the Internet.
TEEX is a member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, which consists of Louisiana State University, New Mexico School of Mining and Technology, the Nevada Test Site and the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Fort McClellan, Ala. The consortium received $31.5 million in FY2000 funds for its programs. Bennett serves as chair of the consortium.