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Rep. Napolitano Unveils New Homeland Security Training Equipment, Natural Gas Bus for Rio Hondo College

January 19, 2012
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano cut the ribbon on new training equipment for Rio Hondo College’s Regional Homeland Security Training Center and a new natural-gas powered, handicap-accessible shuttle bus to move students around the main campus. Napolitano secured the federal funds that helped make the improvements possible.

“Rio Hondo College is an exemplary educational institution, and these upgrades will help ensure that its facilities remain top-of-the-line,” Napolitano said. “Local police, firefighters, medical personnel, and Homeland Security officers training at Rio Hondo College will have access to new training courses, and students will be able to use the new handicap-accessible, natural gas powered bus to get around campus.”

“These new additions will help us better serve our students,” said Rio Hondo College Superintendent and President Ted Martinez, Jr. “The new bus will expand our opportunity to serve all of our students, especially the disabled, and the upgrades to our Homeland Security Training Center will take us beyond the normal training program for our regional first responders. We are fortunate to have this opportunity from Rep. Napolitano to serve our students in a better fashion.”

Napolitano secured $500,000 in federal funds to help Rio Hondo College purchase their new bus. The bus runs on compressed natural gas and will shuttle students up the steep hill from the bottom of campus to the main buildings, a trip that has been especially inconvenient for disabled students. Not all of the federal funding was spent on the bus, and Rio Hondo College can use the remainder to purchase more shuttles at a later date.

Napolitano also secured $300,000 to upgrade the training courses at the Regional Homeland Security Training Center. Improvements include new high-powered lighting equipment for nighttime training and props for live-fire training exercises. Rio Hondo College trains personnel for more than 145 police, fire, and first responder agencies, and the new improvements will enhance the training opportunities available at the Center.

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