|Following a large-scale countywide disaster like a tornado outbreak, it can be difficult for agencies to keep track of the location and credentials of first responders and volunteers. A new grant from the Department of Homeland Security, however, may help simplify that issue in the future. The Limestone County Commission Monday approved the receipt of more than $27,000 in funds for a new badge system that will help keep track of emergency workers and equipment.
The grant was submitted by the Limestone County Emergency Management Agency last spring. Communications Officer Daphne Ellison said the agency learned about the grant award last Friday.
She said the Rapid Tag System will be portable and will allow responders to swipe their badges so agencies can keep track of who is at a particular site. For police officers and firefighters, it will also keep track of a responder’s training and credentials.
She said the cost of a full badge system would cost about $36,000, but the DHS grant enabled the EMA to purchase two Rapid Tag Systems that will be mobile and can be staged at a disaster scene. The system still has to be bid out, but must be purchased by the end of April or first of May.
“It will keep an accountability when we have to activate law enforcement and (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters),” Ellison said. “It will make it easier to know where our people area, when they’re coming in, who’s in the area and what kind of resources we have on the scene.”
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