FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2005
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today directed the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) to receive reports from Illinois emergency response personnel who took their expertise in law enforcement, fire services, medicine and emergency management to Louisiana and Mississippi to help those hurricane-ravaged states deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
"More than 2,100 Illinoisans responded to the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and these volunteers are bringing home with them incredible hands-on experience. I’ve directed the Illinois Terrorism Task Force to receive reports from our law enforcement officers, our doctors, and other emergency personnel who traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi. We can all learn from what they experienced and use that knowledge to help make our state even more prepared to respond to a large-scale disaster," said Gov. Blagojevich.
On Tuesday afternoon, the ITTF will hear reports on hurricane response from four groups that were deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi to help those battered states. The groups include the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS), the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS), the Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team (IMERT) and an Incident Management Team (IMT), which included staff from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management officials.
"These groups provided critical assistance to Louisiana and Mississippi following one of this country’s largest natural disasters, and from everything we’ve heard they did an exemplary job," said Mike Chamness, ITTF chairman. "Because these groups are vital components of Illinois’ disaster preparedness plan, the task force wants to hear first-hand about their experiences and any lessons learned that can help us further improve our preparedness."
Presentations by the groups are scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Illinois Department of Transportation building, 2300 South Dirksen Parkway, in Springfield.
Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29th, Gov. Blagojevich ordered all state agencies to respond in a coordinated manner to help both the recovery and cleanup efforts in the Gulf Coast, and the victims coming into Illinois. Illinois’ efforts to date include: