Department of Homeland Security and DOE Deliver Refurbished Radiological Detection Equipment

The equipment will be used to enhance the domestic preparedness capabilities of local emergency responders.

by / April 24, 2003
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy transferred a shipment of refurbished radiological detection equipment to the Los Angeles Fire Department Hazardous Waste Unit, the Los Angeles Port Authority and the San Francisco Health Department, DHS officials said.

The equipment, with a replacement value of approximately $60,000, is being provided to these emergency responder agencies under a DHS/DOE pilot project called the "Homeland Defense Equipment Reuse Program."

"The HDER program is an excellent example of federal agencies working together to address a critical homeland security issue," said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.

Los Angeles and San Francisco are the sixth and seventh cities that have received radiological detection equipment through the HDER partnership, the DHS said, and other cities receiving the equipment include Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Detroit.

Officials said the HDER program's goal is to provide surplus radiological detection instrumentation and other homeland security related equipment to state and local emergency first responder agencies nationwide to enhance their domestic preparedness capabilities.

A variety of equipment to measure the presence of radiation is being made available through the HDER program. The equipment, which comes from Energy Department sites across the nation, is evaluated and refurbished by radiation equipment specialists at DOE's Office of Assets Utilization, National Center of Excellence for Materials Recycling in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The DHS's Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) works with established contacts in each state to identify appropriate users in their local emergency responder communities, and the DOE delivers the equipment to these jurisdictions at no cost.

Training on the use of the equipment is available to the emergency responders through ODP's Domestic Preparedness Equipment Technical Assistance Program (DPETAP). If requested, DPETAP will provide detailed technical information and hands-on equipment operation and maintenance training, the DHS said, and local support for the equipment, including calibration, maintenance and follow-on refresher training, is also be available through a partnership with the Health Physics Society, a 6,000 member national organization of radiation safety professionals.

To date, according to the DHS, the HDER program has redeployed over 1,500 radiological detection instruments valued over $700,000 to first responder communities throughout major metropolitan areas of the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security