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Emergency planning committee meets

By Staff | May 13, 2015

First Energy provided the breakfast for the Local Emergency Prevention Committee meeting held on May 7.

Tom Cooper, director for the office of Emergency Management, stated that the National Guard come out last week in an effort to assist the Office of Emergency Management and give training on the AreaRAE Systems. Attending the training was Cooper, along with 37 other participants, who were representatives from industry and fire chiefs along with volunteers and a total of four emergency managers.

While these systems are very complex, it was explained they are not hard to use. The National Guard uses this same equipment in disasters as well as covert events. It is a very high tech set of tools (cost $44,500) used to measure air quality around a large area such as a well fire or hazmat event.

AreaRAE is a one- to five-sensor gas detector equipped with a wireless RF (radio frequency) modem which allows the unit to communicate real-time sensor readings with a remotely located host controller PC. Wireless remote monitoring ensures worker safety, while sensitive sensing technology measures toxic and flammable gases in inert atmosphere without the need for dilution fitting.

“The purpose of the AreaRAE System is to set up around a problem area so we can monitor remotely in order to keep volunteers and responders safe,” Cooper said. “We put them around an incident to watch for movement of gases in case an evacuation is needed. Once we have a good understanding of the operation of the equipment, we will be able to keep our responders and citizens safer in a hazmat situation.”

Cooper gave an update on Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grant payment for 2014. Cooper sent them two invoices for $2500. The first one they paid only $2250. Cooper was instructed to send another invoice for $2750 in order to make up a difference.

The “Community Disaster Preparedness Workshop” has been pushed back. Cooper stated that they just don’t have time to do it until the mobile command center is complete. The possibility of it being held in fall was discussed. Cooper also said that they need help with the mobile command center.

The possibility of having public information officer training class was also discussed. Cooper said that until they get a bigger class, they would wait on holding it due to cost efficiency.

The next meeting will be held on June 4 at 9 a.m. at the Sistersville Fire Hall.