SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced a series of 17 regional Homeland Security Workshops that will begin next week and culminate in a Statewide Homeland Security Summit in May 2002.
“These new workshops will build on the 16 regional workshops we offered this past November and December,” Governor Ryan said. “The goal of these new workshops is to help local and regional officials plan and identify actions that can be taken to improve public safety, homeland security and anti-terrorism efforts throughout Illinois.”
The workshops are a cooperative effort of members of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, created by Governor Ryan in May of 2000. The University of Illinois is sponsoring the workshops and there will be no cost for participants.
The workshops will bring together elected officials and key-decision makers including representatives of local, state and federal agencies; Law Enforcement, Fire Service, Emergency Management, Public Health, Education, Transportation and other Public Services as well as members of the private sector.
“Homeland Security is something we must continually strive to improve,” Governor Ryan said. “These workshops will add to the thousands of hours of training and preparation we’ve been able to supply first-responders through the Illinois Terrorism Task Force.”
“These seminars are being conducted to ensure that Illinois communities are safer and better prepared to deal with any act of terrorism or natural disaster,” said Illinois Homeland Security Director Matt Bettenhausen. “The importance of coordinating state and federal actions with first-responders was clearly demonstrated by the tragic events of September 11th.”
Following the regional workshop, a Statewide Homeland Security Summit will be held May 20-21, 2002 at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The goal of the two-day summit will be to develop a set of key conclusions and action plans from the workshop process. Key individuals from the participating workshop groups will be invited to the Statewide Summit.
Each workshop will be nearly a full day with the following agenda:
- 07:30-08:30 a.m. - Registration
- 08:30-10:00 a.m. - How Process Works
- 10:00-1:00 p.m. - Planning Breakout sessions on two tracks. The workshop attendees will be presented with the scenarios and given an opportunity to work through the issues that the scenarios present. The two groups will then be brought back together to make a presentation to the entire group.
Track One - Based upon Terrorist Event Law Enforcement
Track Two - Based upon the evolving Public Health situation
- 1:00-2:00 p.m. - Debrief the planning session
- 2:00-3:00 p.m. - Follow-on Action discussions
The workshops will be conducted around the state in five regional "clusters" at the following locations and specific dates:
Southern Region: Benton - February 4; Carbondale - February 5; Effingham - February 6
Chicago Region: Aurora - February 26; Rockford - February 27; Tinley Park – Feb. 28
Central Region: Bloomington - March 18; Peoria - March 19; Champaign - March 21; Springfield - March 20; Ottawa - May 10
Southwestern Region: Collinsville - April 25; Quincy - April 26
Western Region: Galesburg - May 6; Dixon - May 7; Macomb - May 8; East Moline – May 9
For more information visit the Illinois Fire Service Institute’s website.