[Nameplate] Fair ~ 42°F  
High: 70°F ~ Low: 52°F
Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

County works on NIMS compliance

Friday, November 2, 2007

Scott County news

BENTON -- Scott County officials are continuing in their efforts to make make the county compliant with guidelines set by the National Incident Management System.

"We're finishing up some mandatory trainings that are due," said Ron McCormick, commissioner.

During Thursday's regular county commission meeting, Joe Burton, emergency management director, updated commissioners on the progress that has been made and what steps have yet to be completed.

"It started in 2005 and it's been kind of an ongoing thing," Burton said of NIMS. "During a disaster, when all the different agencies respond, it gives everyone a common working ground and common terminology so every one knows what's going on."

Per a presidential directive, all of the county employees are involved in trainings, depending on how they are classified, Burton said. The trainings differ, and county employees' involvement ranges from two classes to six classes.

"People have to do the emergency management more than anything," said Dennis Ziegenhorn, commissioner. "So we're trying to get everyone compliant with that."

Trainings are supposed to be complete by the end of the year, but the county is not on track to reach that goal, Burton said.

"However, when we do reports to the state and to FEMA, my report says it's in progress and we give them an estimated date -- in mid-2008 -- that we will have it completed," Burton said. "And that keeps us in compliance."

The employees' training is just a component of NIMS, Burton said.

For instance, counties across the state and nation have also been directed to establish a public information officer and this year, to establish a joint information center. That way, in case of emergency, there is a single news conference. He pointed to the recent fires in California as a need for a single agency, so the same message is being sent.

"It's been worked on, there's just not a structure yet," Burton said of the center. He has set a goal to have that completed by midyear, too.

One of the biggest goals is a set communications plan.

"The state of Missouri is really working on that big time," Burton said. "It's a communications plan for every aspect of communications."