Budget Axe Looms Large Over Local First Responders
While Congress shaved local first responder funding by about 20% for 2011, their current plans for 2011 are to cut 67% from the FY 2010 level of $3 billion to $1 billion overall.
This means that potentially 54 cities will lose funding. This includes major U. S. cities from Miami to Seattle, from San Diego to Baltimore, from Detroit to Las Vegas.
States will also feel the impact. Many will be left with the minimum amount of funding required and they will need to drastically curtail programmatic activities.
“However, programs that have been underperforming and failing to execute their budgets or measure their results are significantly reduced.”
“In short, this bill puts the taxpayers’ precious, but limited dollars towards the security programs that will have an immediate impact upon our Nation’s safety and security and responsibility reduces spending wherever possible.”
Just this year, as a sign of frustration, Congress commissioned a study. They asked the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to assist FEMA by with studying, developing, and implementing a plan for promptly developing a set of quantifiable performance measures and metrics to assess the effectiveness of the programs under which covered grants are awarded.
These improvements in planning, organization, equipment, training and exercises are making the nation better prepared overall. These improvements have been making a positive impact on our nation’s ability to respond to all sorts of disasters and emergencies, events that are occurring more and more frequently. Unfortunately, the grantees have been unable to tell their story; and, the lack a common and effective voice to help explain this to congress.