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Governor Perdue Travels State to Highlight Homeland Security Initiatives

Wednesday, January 21, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue today will visit four cities - Dallas , Calhoun, Thomasville , and Savannah - during a statewide fly-around to inform Georgians of local homeland security initiatives and to showcase equipment made possible through FY03 funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP).

At the Paulding County Fire Department in Dallas , Governor Perdue received a firsthand look at personal protective equipment, a collapsible decontamination tent, and defibrillators and other equipment with local first responders from Paulding and Douglas Counties . Paulding County has received $283,000 in homeland security grants and Douglas County has received $70,000.

"While our troops defend us overseas, here at home we've all taken on a greater responsibility for homeland security. The State of Georgia is directing these federal homeland security resources to make sure we are prepared for any future crisis," said Governor Perdue.

Governor Perdue will proceed to Calhoun ( Gordon County ) where he will highlight a HazMat trailer and HazMat suits, among other response equipment. The Governor will be joined by first responders at the Gordon County Fire Headquarters. The county has received $283,000 in ODP homeland security grants.

Following Calhoun, Governor Perdue will travel to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Office in Thomasville ( Thomas County ), to help demonstrate a GBI bomb response unit outfitted with a robot and HazMat response capabilities. As part of Georgia 's model bomb response program, the bomb unit cost $600,000 and was paid for through homeland security grants to GBI. Thomas County has received $61,775 in ODP homeland security grants.

Governor Perdue will conclude his day in Savannah ( Chatham County ) at the Savannah Fire Department. As in Thomasville , Governor Perdue will help demonstrate a GBI bomb response unit outfitted with a robot and HazMat response capabilities. Chatham County has received over $536,000 in ODP homeland security grants.

Georgia 's model bomb response unit program was made possible through strategic planning and partnerships initiated in 1999. Through the ODP grant process, over $6 million in funding has been allocated to build a statewide bomb response capability since that time. With federal funding, the GBI will have a total of 10 state-of-the-art bomb response vehicles outfitted with bomb disposal equipment, as well as a host of hazardous material response gear. The GBI also has 22 bomb technicians specially trained to handle bomb threats and hazardous materials.