Central Indiana health and safety leaders say they need not just federal funding for emergency preparedness, but more consistent funding.
Hospital representatives and state and local public safety officials testified at a congressional field hearing in Carmel, home to House Emergency Preparedness Subcommittee Chair Susan Brooks. Indiana hospitals and police and fire agencies coordinate their emergency response operations and drills through a public-private partnership dubbed the MESH Coalition.
MESH C-E-O Chad Priest says the group is grateful for the federal support it‘s received. But he says it‘s difficult to make long-range plans when the money local agencies receive from Washington keeps fluctuating, and at times disappearing entirely.
Brooks was joined for the hearing by Second District Representative Jackie Walorski and Senator Joe Donnelly. All praised Indiana agencies for their readiness. Brooks notes that although drills and planning often focus on terrorist threats, Indiana has shown the same preparation and coordination comes into play in other kinds of disasters, from the gas explosion which leveled part of Indy‘s Richmond Hill subdivision earlier this year to the Henryville tornado last year.