Tech Awarded $3.5 M for Domestic Counter-Terrorism Program, October 18, 2000

(Contact: Elizabeth Harvey)
(202) 224-7082

SOCORRO, N.M.,October 18, 2000 -- U.S. Senator Pete Domenici today heralded the award of $3.5 million he secured for the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech) domestic counter-terrorism training program in Socorro.

Awarded by the Department of Justice, the grant to New Mexico Tech's Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center will fund a course to provide technical training to emergency personnel to respond to potential acts of terrorism.

"New Mexico Tech is a world-class center for research involving explosives and the deterrence of explosive attacks, and has a great record on the technical training of emergency response teams for incidents involving explosives," Domenici said. "Tragedies such as the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings underscore the need for a ready response to acts of terrorism on U.S. soil. The First Responders program represents a forward-thinking initiative to prepare police officers, fire fighters, and others who are first on the scene after such acts."

The funding was provided through the Fiscal Year 2000 Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary (CJS) Appropriations Bill, signed into law last November. Domenici, a member of the Commerce, Justice, State and Judiciary Appropriations Subcommittee, secured the $3.5 million for New Mexico Tech as part of $14 million in the bill allocated for the Justice Department's First Responder program, a national effort to train local emergency personnel to respond to potential acts of terrorism.

New Mexico Tech prepares first responders, such as firefighters, law enforcement, medical, and other emergency personnel, to respond to potential acts of terrorism, including chemical, biological, and nuclear. The $3.5 million grant will be used to provide an explosives training course titled "Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings" to the first responder community.

The course will be presented 23 times during the year to 25 to 30 participants per session. The graduates of the course will be prepared to instruct awareness-level training in bombing
incident response to personnel in their respective departments. New Mexico Tech has trained some 460 firemen and policemen from throughout New Mexico, as well as from Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, Phoenix, and Fairfax County, Virginia.




(Contact: Elizabeth Harvey)
(202) 224-7082