Homeland Security Cuts

Funding for disaster preparedness from the Federal Department of Homeland Security remains less in smaller populated areas, but as Georgia emergency crews say any amount of money goes the distance.

The thought of a disaster of any kind natural or manmade is scary to imagine for most people, but some say 9/11 put it into perspective.

Only $2 million in grant money has gone to 23 south Georgia counties for homeland security, but local EMTs say that money has helped a lot, including the purchase of hazard material gear and bomb units for Thomas and surrounding counties.

"Thomas County EMS workers say overall they are happy with their federal money. In fact they're waiting on the arrival of a disaster trailer, thanks to a 62,000 grant last year."

Mel Kelly, director, Thomas County, "The supplies on this trailer is supposed to be adequate to treat 100 patients in a disaster of some type of major or catastrophic event."

"We all think we are safe here, it's the U.S. no one would dare attack our home territory but they have and you have to be prepared,"

Kelly says you never know if you're totally prepared until disaster strikes, but EMT's are more prepared to face the possibility now than before.

All homeland security equipment purchased with federal money is used in the southwest Georgia region, and even across state lines, in Florida or Alabama where needed.