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County gets $38K in grants

Proceeds will improve emergency operations, responses

The Covington County Emergency Management Agency and Covington County E-911 received Homeland Security grants totaling more than $38,000 to improve emergency operations.

Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday announced federal Homeland Security funding for a number of Alabama cities and counties.

The Covington County EMA received $22,300 for a mass notification system, Director Susan Harris said. Harris said she expects the system will have the capability to call residents in a particularly geographic area when there is a hazardous threat.

E-911 Director Stacey Jackson said the $36,606 awarded the Covington County E-911 will purchase a building-size generator for the E-911 command center.

At present, she said, the command center has a generator, but primarily to provide power for the communications equipment. With the larger generator, emergency personnel who are required to remain in the center in an emergency will have air, heat, and the ability to cook.

“We have Army cots, or whatever else our employees might want to bring with bad weather requires them to stay overnight,” Jackson said. “This will enable us to do more.”

“Alabama’s law enforcement and first responders work diligently around-the-clock to protect our state, and these funds will go a long way in helping them do that,” Ivey said.

More than $1.8 million was awarded to local first responders in a statewide competitive grant process in three categories: interoperable communications, physical protective measures and public warning systems.

Additionally, more than $900,000 was awarded to the state and local first responders in the Alabama Mutual Aid System. AMAS consists of fire services, communication and law enforcement teams specifically trained in search and rescue operations, hazardous materials response, swift-water rescue operations and explosive ordnance disposal response. The remaining funds will be retained for state-level projects.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security administers these funds.