U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced today the U.S. House of Representatives has approved $3 million for the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) hosted at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). RDPC is a nationwide rural training initiative that enables emergency responders in rural areas to access comprehensive homeland security training programs and fill critical security gaps. EKU serves as the lead institution of a group of colleges across the nation that provides critical training courses for rural first responders and other emergency response stakeholders. Rogers secured this funding in H.R. 2892, the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010.
“Providing the tools necessary for our rural first responders to address natural or man-made disasters is a priority,” said Rogers. “No community is immune from the threat of terrorism or potential natural disasters. Right here in Kentucky our communities have been devastated by recent flooding and the January 2009 ice storm. Law enforcement, fire, EMS, emergency volunteer and management services must always be vigilant and prepared to act under any circumstance, at any time. Proper and up-to-date training is key to give our brave first responders all the tools necessary to protect our communities and keep our families safe.”
Disaster prevention and response courses in large part developed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are ongoing throughout the country and applied for rural first responders. Eastern Kentucky University, East Tennessee State University, Iowa Central Community College, Northwest Arkansas Community College, the University of Findlay, in Ohio and North Carolina Central University are the Consortium’s academic partners, each of which has unique capabilities in rural emergency preparedness training.
The Center for Rural Development in Somerset is also an integral partner to the Consortium's rural training initiative.
H.R. 2892 has been referred to the U.S. Senate for further consideration. Through his role as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Rogers supports important initiatives for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.