Grants to be used to upgrade equipment for County of Summit Special Operations Response Team

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Akron - Grants totaling more than $580,000 will be used to upgrade equipment used by the County of Summit Special Operations Response Team (SORT). The State of Ohio Homeland Security funding will improve the Hazardous Materials and Collapse Search & Rescue elements of SORT.

SORT, while based in Summit County, responds to incidents throughout Ohio Homeland Security Region 5. There are 13 counties in Region 5: Summit, Stark, Portage, Medina, Wayne, Holmes, Ashland, Richland, Tuscarawas, Carroll, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull.

“This is a great example how working together can benefit an entire region,” said Summit County Executive Russ Pry. “Through cooperation and consolidation the safety and well being of our citizens has improved as a result of these grants.”

The largest of the three grants, $315,000, will be used to purchase two vehicles that will replace a single 1994 vehicle that has more than 187,000 miles on it. The two smaller vehicles can be stationed strategically in Summit County for the most effective response throughout the region.

The second largest grant, more than $220,000, will be used to purchase equipment that will upgrade current Hazardous Materials detection capabilities. The “Razor EX BioDetection” system is the most reliable and sensitive detection and identification system for biological pathogens in the field. The “Smith’s Detection Guardian portable Gas Chromatograph\Mass Spectrophotometer” will identify volatile organic compounds and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in complex gases, vapors, liquids and solids.

The third grant of more than $47,000, will be used to replace items that are near expiration or require an annual renewal. These items are used in conjunction with primary detection devices and to support the mitigation of the effects of WMD and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) incidents.

“The award of these three grants to our Emergency Management Agency is a testament to the abilities and professionalism of the team,” said Summit County Emergency Management Agency Senior Administrator Valerie DeRose. “The significant amount of the grants is an indicator of the quality of service that State officials see in our organization.”

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