Washington, DC—Congressman Jim Himes today supported a Homeland Security Appropriations plan that will make America safer with investments in emergency planning, response, and communications, including $265,000 to the Westport Fire Department. Funding secured by Congressman Himes will provide the necessary resources to replace the town’s aging emergency generator at its Fire Headquarters.

“Maintaining our ability to respond to disasters and terrorist attacks is critical to our personal and economic security,” said Congressman Himes. “This funding for the Westport generator will improve the safety of our entire region.”

The Westport Fire Headquarters houses Westport’s Emergency Operations Center as well as units from the Fairfield County Hazardous Materials Response Team and the Regional Communications and Command Response Unit. The funding announced today will allow the purchase of a new generator that will supply emergency standby power for the entire headquarters complex. Without the new generator, the ability to maintain and receive communications from other agencies during an emergency could be significantly compromised.

”We are grateful to Congressman Himes for helping secure this funding,” said Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff. “Having the ability to put the entire headquarters complex on emergency power will certainly enhance our capabilities to better respond to emergencies in Westport and the region.”

Added Fire Chief Christopher Ackley: “This will help protect critical government infrastructure and provide greater dependability by replacing the 22-year-old generator presently in service.
We are truly grateful for the efforts of Representative Himes in providing this critical asset and his understanding of the needs and the role of first responders and our role in serving the public.”

Other investments made by the Homeland Security spending plan that are critical to Connecticut include:

  • Nearly $1 billion to support states’ efforts for local first responder programs;
  • Increases in funding for maritime security, including $137 over last year’s allocation to provide funding for additional inspectors, investigators, and biometrics at sea;
  • $20 million to fund research into next generation technologies to prevent cyber attacks;
  • Investments to modernize flood maps.

To ensure efficient use of the limited resources available, the DHS will increase oversight of expenditure plans and will eliminate $407 million in obsolete programs.