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The Policy Development and Research Branch was formed in May 2008 to consolidate the functions of grant and commission management and serve as the coordination point for broader policy and research initiatives in the Planning Division and IDHS. The Policy Development and Research Branch personnel were engaged in a series of projects that began in 2008 and continue into 2010. These cross-agency partnerships include:
• Cyber Security Advancement
• Agency Strategic Planning
• Exploration of Emergency Operations Center Planning and Expansion
• Data Interoperability and Integration
The Indiana Grant Management System (iGMS) is a web-based tool that manages grants through the pre-award, active grant period, post-award and closeout phases. The iGMS serves as the primary point of management for all preparedness grants managed by IDHS. As a result of focus group recommendations, version 2.0 of the iGMS was released in October 2008. The newer version created proposal based funding requests along with a dashboard interface to allow instant access to critical application elements. By giving real time access to important data, state and local partners have even greater visibility into the IDHS grant management process. Training for the local partners is set for spring 2009.
In addition to the iGMS release, a new administrative plan for Grants Management will serve as the foundation for preparedness grant management at IDHS. The plan clearly outlines the process for pre-award, active award and post-award activities at the state and local level thereby setting the expectations for grant management in Indiana.
The Indiana Homeland Security Foundation (view)
The mission of the Indiana Homeland Security Foundation is to fund projects that benefit the future of public safety in the State of Indiana. Thanks to the gracious support provided by the citizens of Indiana that contribute by purchasing the Secure Indiana license plate, the Foundation continues to strive to meet this important goal.
The Foundation, one of the first of its kind in the nation, generates revenue through the sale of Secure Indiana license plates for critical public safety needs across Indiana by providing grants to local first response organizations. In 2008, the Foundation awarded more than $435,000 in grants to 120 applicants. Local public safety organizations throughout the state are eligible to apply for projects including equipment enhancement, planning and training for the state’s first responders.
Additionally, the Foundation awards scholarship funding to help promote the importance of careers in public safety. In 2008, the Foundation awarded $28,000 in “Hoosier Safety” scholarships to 14 volunteer first responders. Students interested in pursuing a higher education degree and volunteer with a local public safety organization are among the eligible applicants. These scholarships are available to applicants enrolled in an accredited college in Indiana.
Indiana Emergency Response Commission and Local Emergency Planning Committees (view)
The Indiana Emergency Response Commission (IERC) is a 13-member commission appointed by the governor and consists of professionals from state and local governments, private businesses and industries, and the general public. The main functions of the IERC are to maintain the Superfund Amendments and Re-Authorization Act of 1986 (SARA Title III) facility records and to manage the 91 established LEPCs in Indiana.
LEPC members are appointed by the IERC, and the committees consist of professionals from state, local, private, and public organizations. The functions of the LEPCs are to develop and manage the emergency response plans dealing with accidental chemical releases from facilities, and to distribute information to the general public. In 2008, 79 of the 91 LEPCs in Indiana obtained compliant status, and 75 of these LEPCs received funding of approximately $646,000. This number is expected to grow in 2009, as more LEPCs become compliant. LEPCs also provide planning and training support to local hazardous materials response agencies. Furthermore, the IERC staff reviewed 79 LEPC hazardous materials response plans and trained over 100 first responders on the web-based Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) software.
Additionally in 2008, the IERC worked closely with the IDHS Grants Office and the Indiana Grant Management System (iGMS) to deliver the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant Program (HMEP) to 23 LEPCs with grants awarded totaling $214,842. The IERC also developed guidelines for equipment purchases to implement HMEP Grant Programs.
GIS/Critical Infrastructure Section: Managed by Roger Koelpin, supporting the development and maintenance of a statewide geographic information system (GIS) for IDHS needs; manages and coordinates GIS grants within the State of Indiana; develops and maintains a Critical Infrastructure Protection Program (CIPP); and works with state agency Critical Infrastructure Sector Representatives, Critical Infrastructure Sector Committees and District Critical Infrastructure Workgroups; managing roll-out of ACAMS and developing agency protocols for handling sensitive information; and provides GIS support to the EOC during activations.