For immediate release:
April 13, 2015
INDIANAPOLIS - Members of the Indiana House of Representatives have approved legislation, co-sponsored by State Rep. Chuck Moseley (D-Portage), that will help improve response times during natural disasters and emergencies by better coordinating resources at the local, state and national level.
Senate Bill 484 would authorize the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to utilize national Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) task forces for crises in Indiana. Since House members offered no amendments to the bill, it advances directly to Governor Mike Pence for final approval.
“When something disastrous happens, the Federal Emergency Management Agency deploys the three closest US&R task forces to support state and local emergency responders’ efforts,” explained Moseley. “We want to use as many resources as possible to help people in the aftermath of natural disasters, like tornadoes or floods.”
US&R team members specialize in finding and rescuing trapped victims by safely digging them out of collapsed concrete and metal structures. Additionally, medical professionals are on the scene to care for the victims before and after a rescue.
SB 484 also repeals the obsolete Interstate Emergency Management & Disaster Compact that was established in 1953. Indiana, along with the other 49 states, now operates under the Emergency Management & Assistance Compact.
[Rep. Moseley explains this legislation in a 1:24 mp3 clip.]