DERRY — The community will get more support for its efforts to keep first emergency officials safe in the event of an active shooter situation.

During a Town Council meeting March 24, councilors approved the town accepting, if awarded, an active shooter Emergency Management Performance Grant through the state's Homeland Security Department.

The grant, a EMS in the Warm Zone Equipment Grant for $6,000, would be an expansion of a prior grant awarded to Derry, also $6,000.

The money will be used to purchase protective ballistic vests, helmets, associated gear and medical supplies.

In a statement provided to the council, the fire department began researching best practices for fire and EMS response to active shooter incidents several years ago.

In 2014, the department purchased equipment to protect emergency responders treating patients in the warm zone, an area police have either cleared or isolated from any shooting threat.

The department continues to actively train along with police to make sure emergency responders can access and treat victims as quickly as possible while also maintaining their own safety.

In 2018, the New Hampshire Department of Safety announced an expansion of this grant program, allowing communities like Derry to be eligible for additional financial support for emergency personnel and equipment.

"This grant funding would be used to purchase additional equipment to protect our first responders and better equip them to respond to and treat victims of an active shooter incident," the statement read.

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