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Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014

Meeting set to assess resources

Saturday, February 2, 2008

BENTON -- Scott County is calling out to people to round up more individuals to lend a hand in its emergency management services.

EMA Director Joel Evans will host an informal meeting for current and previous volunteer on Tuesday, which will focus on the structure and direction of the organization.

"It's something that has been done sporadically in the past," said Evans. He wasn't sure, however, when the last such meeting was held.

Evans, who assumed the position of EMA director Jan. 1 following the retirement of Joe Burton, said the meeting is "just to evaluate the assets we have. We want to identify the skills of volunteers to make sure we're adequately using those folks."

"Anyone can be involved," Evans stressed. However, he is specifically looking for people with specialized communication skills, such as being able to operate ham radios.

Other desirable skills include search and rescue, including K-9, as well as Community emergency response teams. "Those have formed throughout the county, and we want to try to get a little more efficient organization with those teams," said Evans.

Those who own physical assets, such as horses and four-wheelers, are also vital. "There are a lot of resources available that people who interest in emergency service can use to help out in a disaster," said Evans.

Needs and wants of emergency response agencies will be collected by EMA to help find personnel, funding and training opportunities, Evans added.

For the most part, Evans wants to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge, in a broad range of fields, that residents in Scott County have.

"Maintaining a database of those resources and matching it to potential hazards will be an important piece to the public safety puzzle," he said. "In addition to easing the process of requesting resources when needed, the database could identify shortfalls or deficits that need to be addressed."

Apart from the focus for Tuesday's meeting, Evans has several visions for leading the organization. "One of my goals for EMA is to build on existing relationships and with all of the emergency response agencies and volunteers in the county to efficiently use our resources and to identify non-traditional resources and resources beyond our boundaries," said Evans.

He also expressed a desire to make EMA "a meeting ground for emergency services to resolve procedural and technical issues which are challenges to working in multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional events."

His double role as EMA director as well as the county developer will be another asset for the organization, Evans said. "I will be in a position to assist organizations in grant application processes at their request -- assistance could be as limited or involved as the organizations deem necessary."

What: Informal meeting for current and previous volunteers, as well as anyone interested in volunteering in Emergency Management

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Scott County Rural Fire Station, Morley

For more, call EMA Director Joel Evans, 481-9111 or 545-9113.