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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | Countywide

County Applies for Anti-Terrorist Funds

July 29, 1998|MIGUEL BUSTILLO

Hoping to prepare Ventura County for domestic terrorism, county officials have applied for a $248,000 grant from the federal government.

U.S. Atty. Gen. Janet Reno has directed that $12 million from the Department of Justice Terrorism Fund be spread around to local emergency service agencies to gear up in case of bomb or chemical weapon attacks from groups within the U.S.

Ventura County is eligible for $250,000 under a formula based on an area's population. Hoping to secure the money, a group of representatives from the county fire, sheriff's and emergency medical services agencies has come up with a detailed plan for spending the grant.

"It is the coordinating committee's intention to establish a centrally located mobile cache of supplies and other personal protective equipment," Fire Chief Bob Roper wrote in a report to the Board of Supervisors. "The intended use of this cache would be to allow first-responders the capability of establishing mass-casualty decontamination swiftly and safely."

In addition to the cache, which would be housed in Moorpark, the grant would provide money for two explosive-resistant hazardous materials suits. The bomb suits currently used by the county bomb squad do not protect against the release of chemical or biological agents, according to the report.

The Board of Supervisors approved the application Tuesday.

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