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Berkley Hosts Post-Katrina First Responders Roundtable in Las Vegas

Location: Las Vegas, NV


(Las Vegas -- October 11, 2005) Continuing in her efforts to assess and improve disaster and emergency preparedness in southern Nevada, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today hosted a closed-door roundtable with more than 45 local first responders, emergency managers and health care providers, at the Foley Federal Building in downtown Las Vegas.

"Hurricane Katrina has taught us that no matter how prepared we think our community is for a natural disaster or terrorist incident, more must be done to ensure public safety. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, I have been meeting regularly with our police and firefighters in southern Nevada and with the local and state officials who will be at the forefront of responding to any disaster or emergency. These sessions provide me the opportunity to assess the progress that has been made in preparing the Valley for an emergency and allow me to hear first hand about the needs of our first responders, including equipment, training and financial resources, to help defray the cost to our community," said Berkley.

Joining Berkley at the roundtable were representatives from law enforcement (LVMPD, NHP, NLV Police, TSA, FBI); the Nevada National Guard; local firefighters (Clark County, City of Las Vegas); federal, state and local disaster response and homeland security officials (State of Nevada, Clark County, NLV, CLV, DHS); health officials and hospital operators; broadcasters; transportation planning agencies (RTC, DOT); flood control; and community based and charitable organizations that would play a role in emergency response.

"Our police and firefighters are among the best in the nation, and we have spent years and millions of dollars preparing southern Nevada for threats to public safety, but we must continue to learn from incidents like 9/11 and Katrina and reassess our own response plans based on those experiences. As a Congresswoman, it's critical for me to hear from our first responders and our local emergency management officials so that I can secure the resources needed to protect southern Nevada families and those visiting our community in the event of an emergency or natural disaster," said Berkley, who has hosted a total of three first responder roundtables, including today's event, since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Berkley voted last week in favor of legislation that will allocate more federal dollars to communities based on actual threat levels. The spending package also recognizes tourism as a factor in determining how resources are allocated. The change should mean an increase in funding for Las Vegas and other Nevada cities which play host to millions of visitors each month.

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