Carmel, N.Y. – 02/25/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson), Chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, hosted a Homeland Security and Emergency Response Roundtable with Jerome Hauer, Commissioner of the New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services, on Tuesday afternoon at the Paladin Center Tactical Training Facility in Carmel, NY.
The roundtable provided a forum for county and local municipality leaders to share feedback concerning the training, development needs and emergency preparedness plans of local police, fire departments, EMS and other related emergency services.
“Our first responders are the backbone of each municipality across the district, and we need to do everything in our power to make sure that they have the training, funding and support they need to keep New York safe,” said Senator Ball. “I would like to thank Commissioner Hauer for meeting with local first responders in our area so we can work together to ensure we are fully prepared in case of an emergency.”
“Having roundtables such as this provide a great opportunity to hear from first responders and discuss best practices that will strengthen and enhance their training, preparedness and response capabilities,” said Jerome M. Hauer, Commissioner, NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
In addition to training, coloration and communication, roundtable participants largely focused on the recent drug overdoses including prescription drug abuse. The state recently created an Internet system for tracking over prescribed prescription drugs known as I-STOP, but participants said more needed to be done.
Senator Greg Ball co-hosted the event with Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith, Chairman Alonzo West, Senate Law Enforcement Advisory Council and Chairman Hugh Fox, Senate Fire & Public Safety Advisory Council.
“I am deeply concerned about the actions of our secretary of defense Chuck Hagel in proposing deep reductions in our military to pre World War II levels. The world is still a very dangerous place with conventional threats coming from Iran, North Korea, China, and with the Middle East being virtually a tinderbox. These threats coupled with terrorist threats coming from numerous places make us less safe right here at home. I fear that our leadership in Washington is abandoning the concept of ‘Peace through Strength’ that President Ronald Reagan used to bring down the Berlin Wall without the firing of a single shot,” said Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith. “It is very important that we not become complacent. Complacency is really the enemy of preparedness and homeland security. It seems that after every war we tend to let our guard down and dismantle the military. We need to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. I thank Senator Greg Ball for organizing this important roundtable. It is extremely important to coordinate with Commissioner Hauer and other local officials to ensure we are all working together to protect our communities and ensure we are fully prepared in the event of an emergency.”
“I would like to thank Senator Greg Ball for making me Chairman of the Senate Fire & Public Safety Advisory Council,” said Hugh Fox. “It is great to see a mixture of police, fire and emergency services in this room. I think we all have the same agenda, before the disaster happens what are we going to do about it? This is a great concept for the Senator to put together to have us all come together in a room to share what we are concerned about.”
“Senator Greg Ball has been instrumental in the homeland security aspect of New York State, by gathering together groups like this of police officers and first responders to hear their opinions and voices to put together a cohesive plan for the state,” said Robert Morris, First Vice Presidents of Port Authority PBA. “Senator Ball has also been instrumental in assistance us in the Port Authority in the wake of 9/11, he listened to our suggestions and actually corrected problems that needed to be addressed.”
In January of 2012 Senator Greg Ball first introduced Commissioner Hauer at the Paladin Center to provide local municipality leaders an opportunity to meet Hauer and voice concerns and emergency preparedness plans.
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