A Study In Federal Funding

On September 8, the Fire Department of the City of New York testified before the House Homeland Security Committee for federal funding. The presentation, made by FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, was reprinted in Firefighter Nation in its entirety. For those of our readers who are interested in securing funding for public programs, here are some relevant points and excerpts.

Nigro opened with a description of the FDNY’s existing mandates and missions such as firefighting, search and rescue, pre-hospital patient care, and hazardous materials mitigation, and emphasized that the planning, training and equipment being discussed can be applied to other mass casualty situations.

He detailed systems that the department has built such as the Tiered Response System, scalable depending on the emergency type, and collaborative systems with other agencies and responders within the region.

He talked about tools shared as city and regional resources such as revamping the Fire and EMS Academies and environments, like the Shipboard Simulator and Subway Simulator.

The main tool is the Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness (CTDP). “We created the Center in 2004 to be the focal point for the Department's strategic preparedness, creating dynamic and practical approaches to counterterrorism, disaster response, and consequence management,” said Nigro. “The Center's core competencies include: intelligence sharing, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and security preparedness, exercise design, emergency response planning, education, strategy and technology.”

Nigro also discussed the development of a fully staffed and trained Incident Management Team (IMT), an automated recall program that can target off-duty members, a communications channel between on-scene firefighters and the EMS command, a Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) information and awareness campaign in firehouses and EMS stations and a Fire-ground Accountability Program (FGAP).

He also reviewed the building of an Emergency Operations Center at FDNY Headquarters and a redundant back-up facility on Staten Island.

“The FDNY cannot reinforce enough how critically important federal funding has been in supporting the initiatives outlined above,” said Nigro. “Since 9/11, the FDNY has worked to build partnerships with key funders notably the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES). To these agencies, we have communicated the FDNY's unique role in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other complex emergencies. To date, the FDNY has been awarded over $560 million in federal funding through DHS.”

Nigro said “The FDNY has utilized DHS funds to rebuild after 9/11 and to prepare our first responders to manage the potential threats and hazards they face each day in the field. Grant funds support the equipment, planning, drills, technology, and training they need to prepare for and respond to these threats.


For the entire transcript, visit: