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Langhorne, PA 19047
(215) 752-6750
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Feasterville, PA 19053
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Harrisburg, PA 17120-2142
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Tours Show Strength, Diversity of Pennsylvania’s Security Measures
8/31/2011

Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), who chairs the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee’s Subcommittee on Security and Response Readiness, completed his latest series of tours of emergency response facilities as the nation prepares to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

 

“To be effective emergency responders and to ensure proper coordination of our state’s resources in times of emergency, it is important to know what is available and how the various agencies and personnel communicate and work with one another,” said Farry.  “This coordination was critical in minimizing the impact of Hurricane Irene, and in its aftermath.  Everyone from the governor to local police, firefighters and social service agencies were involved.”

 

Over the past few weeks, Farry’s subcommittee has visited the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy in Lewistown; Penn State University’s Applied Science Research Laboratory in State College; a gas well drilling site in Bradford County; and the Pennsylvania State Police Fusion Center in Harrisburg.

 

The State Fire Academy is a training center for firefighters statewide that provides hands-on training using different scenarios, as well as information on grants and other resources available to purchase equipment and safety gear.

 

On its tour of the Penn State Applied Research Academy, subcommittee members learned that under the university’s contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, it is performing research and development into jet propulsion to make submarines operate quieter.  Penn State has the only water tunnel of its type in the country used to test jet propulsion.

 

A tour of a Marcellus Shale fracking facility in Towanda, Bradford County, provided subcommittee members with a first-hand look at a drilling site and the process by which gas is extracted.  Members also learned about potential hazards and the safety measures in place to avoid them.

 

The State Police Fusion Center gave members insight into how the state monitors terrorist threats, gangs, drug trafficking and other illegal activity, and how it shares this information with other law enforcement authorities at the state and federal levels.  In the aftermath of 9/11, the federal Office of Homeland Security encouraged states to establish fusion centers to aid national security efforts.

 

The committee concluded its visits with a tour of Fort Indiantown Gap by the joint House and Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees and members of the congressional delegation.  The tour included new buildings used for the training of law enforcement officers and Civil Air Patrol, as well as the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center.

 

“Since 9/11, public officials and emergency personnel are more aware and proactive in ensuring the public is protected,” said Farry.  “It is important for members of the subcommittee to see these facilities and talk with the people who work there.  Doing so helps us in our understanding of what safety and security measures are in place and on what we can improve.  This interaction is critical in the development of sound public policy.”

 

State Representative Frank Farry

142nd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Donna Pinkham                   

dpinkham@pahousegop.com 

717.260.6452 
RepFarry.com                                    

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