For Immediate Release
May 22, 2013
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced the City of Boston will receive $17.5 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency to support ongoing and future homeland security initiatives. The funding represents a 60% increase over the City’s $10.8 million award in 2012.
“Following the tragic events of Marathon Monday, we have shown the world that we are a resilient city,” Mayor Menino said. “With this grant, the Department of Homeland Security has reaffirmed its commitment to assist us in protecting our residents and businesses. We will use this funding to ensure Boston continues to be prepared to respond to any threat, from terrorist attack to natural disaster, which would attempt to test our resilience and resolve.”
Past funding has supported a range of initiatives, including Urban Shield Boston - the largest first-responder exercise conducted in New England and the cornerstone of the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region (MBHSR) training and exercise program. Urban Shield is a continuous 24-hour exercise, during which first responders are deployed to and rotated through various training scenarios. The goal of Urban Shield is to test and evaluate specific public safety capabilities that have been developed, or enhanced, with the investment of funds received through the UASI grant program. Urban Shield Boston was last held in November 2012 and involved more than 1,800 emergency response personnel from more than 50 local, state and federal agencies.
In 2003, the City of Boston was designated as an Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) site. Mayor Thomas Menino partnered with eight surrounding jurisdictions – Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, and Winthrop – to form the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region (MBHSR). The Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinates and administers the UASI grant program on behalf of the MBHSR.
The UASI program provides financial assistance to address the unique multi-discipline planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density Urban Areas, and assists them in building capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from threats or acts of terrorism. As one of these most densely populated regions in the country, this money is vital to continue sustaining and developing Boston’s first responder’s capabilities.
In November, Boston’s Emergency Management Program received full accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP), making Boston only one of four accredited cities, and 42 accredited programs nationwide, most of which are states or counties.
For more information on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's grant programs, please visit www.fema.gov/grants.