In anticipation of the release of Federal Fiscal Year 2003 federal terrorism funding, the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) this week is sending letters to every fire and police chief in the state seeking the number of first responders who need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The deadline for responding to the equipment survey is April 30.
The ITTF has set as its top priority in 2003 to provide a mask/respirator and nuclear, chemical and biological cartridges to every one of the 80,000 responders in Illinois, including every police officer, firefighter and other responders including public health, emergency management and public works responders. The price tag for this priority is approximately $18 million.
The equipment portion of Illinois’ allotment of FY03 federal terrorism funding is $13.2 million, of which $7.7 million has been earmarked for the PPE mentioned above. The remainder is budgeted for the local Level-A hazardous materials teams, the local law enforcement Regional Containment Teams, local Technical Rescue Teams, transportation security technology and communications priorities. President Bush’s supplemental appropriations request currently in Congress contains the additional money necessary to complete equipping every responder in Illinois.
The current timeline is for Illinois to receive the FY03 terrorism funding in about two months and for the equipment distribution to begin by July. Pending final approval of the President’s supplemental appropriations request, all responders in the state should receive their PPE this calendar year.