Dave Williams, another member of the council's budget advisory board and a member of the Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company, noted funding is in the budget for part-time temporary HAZMAT and TRT technicians.

Williams asked if the technicians would be allowed to perform "response activities."

"While they're working during that time period and there is a call – and they would be of value to that call – they can certainly go, but they would be under the command of whoever the incident commander is as well as whoever the operational chief is for the Technical Rescue Team," Strickland explained.

"In a manner, we're – for lack of a better term – we're morphing the TRT the same way the HAZMAT team originally started," Williams said.


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Capital projects

Several capital projects for the DES also will be funded in FY 2014, as well.

The county executive's proposed capital budget allocates $10.1 million in county, state and federal funds for a new Emergency Operations Center in Forest Hill – the county is providing $5.6 million toward construction.

The first phase of construction is scheduled to begin during the current fiscal year, with the second and final phase completed during FY 2016.

The county executive has also allocated $100,000 in local funds toward an ongoing project to equip public schools with bi-directional amplifiers to upgrade emergency radio coverage in the schools.

Finally, $13 million in county funds has been set aside for a federally-mandated effort to upgrade facilities in Harford County to handle 700 and 800 MHz radio traffic and be in compliance with the latest technology thresholds, known as P-25.