Donalds to Introduce Bill to Improve Logistics of Search and Rescue Nationwide

Donalds to Introduce Bill to Improve Logistics of Search and Rescue Nationwide

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
October 31, 2023

Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL) is set to introduce the GIS Emergency Response Technology Sustainment Act, a bill that would establish the Search and Rescue Common Operating Platform (SARCOP) within the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Geospatial Management Office (GMO). This move would sustain funding, encourage Geographic Information Systems (GIS) innovation, and coordinate search and rescue responses on a broader scale.

SARCOP is “one such effort of a federal, state, and local multiagency platform designed to share information and intelligence throughout all levels of incident response.” It provides a system of communication including everyone from first responders to those in Emergency Operations Centers to FEMA officials.

The bill would authorize $3 million for each fiscal year through Fiscal Year 2030.

"Hurricane Ian made evident that there is a critical need for efficient, cross-agency coordination during search and rescue missions in Southwest Florida and across our nation. I am proud to introduce this legislation to establish and fund a Search and Rescue Common Operations Program (SARCOP) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We must ensure that disaster-prone communities across America are sufficiently prepared for when the next storm comes," stated Rep. Donalds.

With real-time mapping and faster coordination of information, GIS (and the innovations that will come with it) can be used to save lives. With SARCOP in place in the three different levels of government, there would also be less duplication of efforts.

Furthermore, the funding mentioned in the legislation would coordinate “on-the-ground and remote geospatial urban SAR (Search and Rescue) training, planning, and response through ongoing collaboration with appropriate nonprofit entities focused on enhancing public safety through geospatial technology,” as well as facilitate the “sustaining and expansion of SAR geospatial support technology solutions in preparation for emergency events and disaster responses.”

Currently, 39 states use SARCOP through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). However, the states use SARCOP at no cost.

With this in mind, the bill would address the notion of the insufficient funding that SARCOP currently faces by establishing it within the DHS.

Representative Troy Carter (D-LA) is currently a co-sponsor of the legislation.

Moreover, in an appearance on Fox News, Rep. Donalds questioned President Joe Biden (D) and his business decisions that have enabled his “luxurious lifestyle.”

The Florida congressman did not mince words when it came to addressing the possible violations that the President may or may not have committed.

“What I say to [The President] is, when we get your bank records, then we’re going to demonstrate that to the American people. He’s going to have to answer the question of why was he taking money from foreign sources in order to pay for his luxurious lifestyle here in the United States?” said Rep. Donalds.

He continued, insinuating that President Biden could be “compromised,” especially as the White House has to make intricate geo-political decisions that affect the United States and its allies as a whole.

“Let’s also understand, America’s ally Israel is at war, Ukraine has been invaded by Russia, we’ve actually had to abandon four U.S. embassies during Joe Biden’s presidency. Meanwhile, we also know that his family, because of his influence, has been taking money from countries all across the globe. Is the President’s foreign policy positions compromised because of the money that his family has taken on his behalf because he was seated at the top of political power in the United States,” Rep. Donalds asserted.

He concluded, “This has major national security implications as well. That will be my response to the President of the United States.”

The impeachment inquiry into President Biden is still ongoing.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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