Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco will testify before the U.S. Congress at 2 p.m. today on the importance of adequately supporting local emergency personnel who are the first to respond after a deadly terrorist attack.
Nocco was invited to speak to the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, a House Homeland Security Committee, by committee chairman Congressman Gus Bilirakis. The title of the hearing is Taking Measure of Countermeasures (Part 3): Protecting the Protectors.
According to Bilirakis, the hearing will focus on the need for research, development, and acquisition of vital medical countermeasures and the preparation of plans to dispense and distribute those countermeasures in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack.
"In light of the critical role that first responders will play during an
emergency, we must plan accordingly to ensure that state, local and federal
officials take proper precautions and remain safe during a disaster or
attack," Bilirakis said. "Sherriff Nocco developed a great deal of emergency
experience early in his career as a first responder during the 9/11 attack,
the Washington, D.C. sniper incident, the anthrax attacks, and numerous
demonstrations and large protests in the nation's Capital."
The hearing can be viewed online via streaming video.
"This is a great opportunity for the Pasco Sheriff's Office to be positively
highlighted on the national stage," Nocco said. "We are building upon
our long-term strategy to better serve and protect the citizens of Pasco, and
it is my desire to be part of that for many years to come. Our ability to
work with our state and federal leaders is a key component of our strategy
because Pasco deserves its share of resources that have typically been
allocated to other agencies."
According to the subcommittee's website: The Subcommittee on Emergency
Preparedness, Response, and Communications jurisdiction includes public and
private sector mitigation, prevention, preparedness, and response efforts in
response to acts of terrorism, natural disasters, or other emergencies; the
Federal Emergency Management Agency; Department of Homeland Security
administered grants; preparedness and response capabilities for chemical,
biological, radiological and nuclear attacks; the Office of Health Affairs;
the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; emergency communications
including interoperability, operability, and the activities of the Office of
Nocco's testimony will be available from the Homeland Security website
after the hearing.