Recycled equipment aids at-risk cities

As part of a pilot project for cities considered at risk for a terrorist attack, the Homeland Security Department and the Energy Department have shipped refurbished radiological detection equipment to first responders in Los Angeles and San Francisco, officials said April 22.

The Los Angeles Fire Department hazardous waste unit, the Los Angeles Port Authority and the San Francisco Department of Public Health received the equipment, worth an estimated $60,000, under a joint project called the Homeland Defense Equipment Reuse Program.

The program is designed to provide surplus radiological detection instruments and other homeland security devices to state and local emergency first responders.

To date, the program has refurbished more than 1,500 radiological detection instruments valued at more than $700,000 and distributed them to seven cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. The other cities are Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Detroit and Washington, D.C., all urban areas considered at higher risk for potential terrorist targeting.

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

The recycled equipment comes from Energy sites across the country and includes a variety of tools to measure the presence of radiation. First responders who receive the equipment are trained to use it.

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