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Standards are established for emergency response

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

BENTON -- NIMS is now the standard for dealing with emergencies in Scott County.

Scott County Commissioners approved a resolution during their regular meeting Tuesday designating the National Incident Management System as the basis for all incident management in Scott County.

NIMS was established to "provide a consistent nationwide approach for federal, state, local and tribal governments to work together more effectively and efficiently to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size or complexity," according to the resolution.

"You never know when you are going to have some sort of disaster in the county," said Commissioner Jamie Burger. "This gives us some type of format to follow that we're all basically versed in as a group. Naturally you are always going to spin off from it, but you need some sort of criteria to start from."

Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn said the resolution is part of the Scott County Commission's ongoing efforts to ensure the county is prepared for an emergency.

Joe Burton, emergency management director for Scott County, said there is a tabletop earthquake drill scheduled on Sept. 22 at the Clinton Building in Sikeston.

On Sept. 23, an in-field exercise involving some emergency agencies from this region is scheduled tentatively at the old Raudmont Inn in Miner.

"Seven counties are going to be involved in this," Burton said: Scott, New Madrid, Dunklin, Butler, Stoddard, Cape Girardeau and Pemiscot.

"Mississippi County and Wayne County were invited but I don't know if they will participate or not," Burton said.

Burton said there will be two more earthquake scenario drills held this year in this region, the first of which will take place in November in Cape Girardeau County. A date and place have not yet been set for the last drill this year.

Burton said these regional drills are leading up to a weeklong "Spills Of National Significance" earthquake scenario drill involving 13 states that will begin June 19, 2007.

"It's a federal-driven drill," he said.

In other business Tuesday, commissioners approved a bid from Ervins Metalsmiths in Cape Girardeau to clean all the bronze from the Scott County War Memorial for a cost of $950.

"That includes the new lion's head for the water discharge so it's all the same tint," Burger said.

"They thought it would be at least four weeks to get it all cleaned," said Joel Evans, county developer.