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    News: Speeches and Releases

  • Remarks by Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge to Pennsylvania First Responders
  • March 27, 2002
    President Promotes Funding for Emergency First Responders
    March 27, 2002
    President Rallies First Responders in Georgia
    February 4, 2002
    President's Plan to Strengthen Homeland Security
    January 30, 2002
    President Creates Citizen Corps
    January 24, 2002
    President Announces Substantial Increases in Homeland Security Budget
    President George W. Bush wades into a crowd of handshakes and flashing cameras as he welcomes mayors and county official to the East Room Jan. 24. White House photo by Tina Hager.

    First Responders

         Fact sheetSupporting First Responders
         Fact sheetMutual Aid Agreements

    Supporting First Responders Strengthening Homeland Security

    America's first line of defense in any terrorist attack is the "first responder" community - local police, firefighters, and emergency medical professionals. Properly trained and equipped first responders have the greatest potential to save lives and limit casualties after a terrorist attack. Currently, our capabilities for responding to a terrorist attack vary widely across the country. Many areas have little or no capability to respond to terrorist attack using weapons of mass destruction. Even the best prepared States and localities do not possess adequate resources to respond to the full range of terrorist threats we face.

    Facts About First Responders

  • There are over 1 million firefighters in the United States, of which approximately 750,000 are volunteers.
  • Local police departments have an estimated 556,000 full-time employees including about 436,000 sworn enforcement personnel.
  • Sheriffs' offices reported about 291,000 full-time employees, including about 186,000 sworn personnel.
  • There are over 155,000 nationally registered emergency medical technicians(EMT).
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