Washington - Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced the Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation to give three emergency operations centers in New Jersey $900,000 in new federal funds. The funds are included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which the Senate Appropriations Committee approved today and will next be considered by the full Senate.

"A coordinated effort from our first responders is the most effective and efficient way to protect our residents. These funds would help our police, firefighters and other emergency personnel operate as a team to protect local residents. Funding for emergency operations centers improves public safety and helps save lives," said Sen. Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security Subcommittee which wrote the legislation that includes these funds.

Sen. Menendez said: "Even with all the challenges families in our state are facing, we have to ensure that their security remains a top priority. We know that coordination among first responders and authorities is essential for an effective response to save lives during an emergency. The operations centers that will be bolstered by these funds will help ensure a high level of coordination and enhance public safety."

Union County would receive $353,000 for emergency operations center enhancements. Hackensack would receive $300,000 for its emergency services facility, and South Orange would receive $247,000 for the replacement of emergency generators in its emergency operations center.

Emergency operations centers (EOCs) are central command and control facilities responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management or disaster management functions at a strategic level in an emergency situation.

An EOC is responsible for the strategic overview of a disaster. The common function of all EOCs is to collect, gather and analyze data, make decisions that protect life and property and disseminate those decisions to all concerned agencies and individuals.