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Tyler County LEPC Explains Use of Grant Funds

By Staff | Dec 27, 2017

Tyler County LEPC met recently and discussed the use of several grants that have been applied for and accepted. Some of the surrounding organizations in attendance included Tyler County Fire Departement, OEM, WV Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Mark West Energy, Sistersville VFD, Tyler County Commissioners, Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce, Mayor of Paden City, Maintenance Supervisor of Paden City, Wetzel/Tyler Health Department, New Martinsville Dialysis/DaVita, Proviron Inc., Tyler County Search and Rescue, Tyler County Schools, V.I.T.A.L. Resources LLC., Blue Racer Midstream, Tyler County Sheriff’s department, and Eureka Midstream.

Under grants, it was announced that the spill trailer is being supplied and shelves are being installed.

The SIRN radios have been ordered and they will be delivered shortly. The SIRN radios will allow for more effective communication for Tyler County Emergency Services.

The manufacturing company has made some recommendations on the breathing air compressor. OEM director Tom Cooper was wanting a diesel powered generator but was directed away from that and was advised to get an electric generator.

The Search and Rescue training grant is moving forward and the OEM received a $20,000 50/50 grant from the Emergency Management Performance Grant. Cooper stated that search and rescue volunteers often spend up to $6,000 per year out of their own pocket just to help train local search and rescue teams and so this grant could go towards helping reimburse volunteers for their efforts.

The OEM is also preparing to send in the 2016 EMPG invoices and the 2017 EMPG award request has been signed and will be sent out.

A quote has been received for a backup generator to be used at the new sheriff’s Office. Cooper stated that he wants a realistic quote, and the one he received was in the amount of $49,500. A grant has been applied for to be used toward the backup generator.

Code Red Public Notification System has approved the submission of local databases and now will need to be updated with 911 information.

LED Signs grant is progressing along, and it has been approved to send out a bid meeting notification. The signs are $87,000 and have been paid for through available grants. A company in Hancock County is one of the few that have made themselves available for bidding the project. The signs will be located at the entrance points of the county in order to notify people going in and out of the county of emergency situations. It will be a while before the signs are put in place. Cooper explained that mitigation projects take years to accomplish and that most mitigation funds have been used towards buying out of properties.

Rover Pipeline has donated $10,000 to all county OEMs that the pipeline passes through. This will be used to support the first responders agencies.

Under training it was announced that the Dec. 9 search and rescue training included hypothermia training, mapping and field work. There were some doctors present that have worked with hypothermia experience including a lady that has worked at Mount Everest base camps. The next search and rescue meeting will be held on Jan. 13, 2018 and Cooper urges anyone that is interested to attend as the meetings are open to the public.

It was mentioned that the fire departments have come across some complications in the field lately. There was a patient that was mute and another patient that spoke Spanish and so it created some communication problems; therefore, the department will carry cards that patients can point to, in order to reference their medical problems to help emergency workers better assist their patients.

Under exercises, it was suggested that the LEPC start planning the 2018 exercises and Cooper was open to suggestions such as mass casualties, communications, or hazmat exercises to review in the upcoming year.

Under planning it was announced that the public notification and warning annex is being submitted for the committee’s approval. Also, the search and rescue field notes appendix is being submitted for the committee’s approval.

The OEM would like to work with the fire/EMS departments on developing a long-term building plan and to develop a Hazmat response team. Cooper feels that there is not a very strong Hazmat team available in either Tyler or Wetzel Counties. With diesel spills and chlorine spills occurring, he feels that the counties should have a more active response team. He would also like to work with Doddridge County to develop a Swift Water Rescue team. There are several examples of incidents occurring such as floods, fires, and chemicals spills to where the county needs to be more prepared in the event that one of these incidents occurs close to home.

There was discussion on tower sharing between surrounding counties to better, and more effectively, allow communication for surrounding EMS agencies. Multiple counties have shown interest in tower sharing to better serve the counties of West Virginia.

In other matters, the OEM worked with REPS Inc. and Jim Paden to restore tylerwv.com website after a critical crash.

Also, the Wetzel County Chamber and V.I.T.A.L. Resources worked together to sponsor the December breakfast which consisted of a $200 donation to the Tyler County Senior Citizens Center.

The next LEPC meeting is scheduled for Jan. 4, located at the Tyler County Senior Citizens Center in Middlebourne, beginning at 9 a.m.