THE MAGAZINE

First Responders

The issue of first-responder preparedness received a great deal of attention from lawmakers after Hurricane Katrina, and a bill (H.R. 1544) that would have changed the way that first-responder funds were allocated to state and local governments was approved by the House of Representatives, but was not taken up by the Senate. The bill would have required that the government dole out first-responder funds based on risk. This differed from the current funding scheme which follows an equal-distribution approach, with all jurisdictions receiving funding even if those funds are not needed. The bill was designed to provide more funding for metropolitan areas that face greater risks of terrorist attack and less for rural areas.

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