LEPC Updated On Local Addiction Services
At the recent meeting of the Tyler County Local Emergency Planning Committee, Kristen Ruble from Westbrook Health Services announced there is a grant which will extend substance abuse services to rural counties. There will be counseling services available at Sistersville General Hospital while increasing public awareness throughout the county. A program called “Stigma Free In WV” will be available in April. This program is designed to change the outlook on addiction.
John Sikora, Hydrologist for the National Weather Service, informed members the Storm Ready Notification system is ready to be used throughout the county. It is a system to warn and prepare residents of weather hazards. There is an application online at weather.gov/stormready, but there is certain criteria that the county and residents must meet. Once the application has been reviewed, the NWS will give certificates and a discount on federal insurance for flood insurance will be available. Sikora wants to make sure that the county and NWS are working well together to provide as much safety for people as possible.
Anyssa Greco with the Department of Homeland Security announced there is a new Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness grant available, and the amount available has gone from $5,000 to $10,000 this year, per county. Applications aren’t available yet, but they will be soon, and the funds must be used toward Hazmat training.
Sheriff Brian Weigle suggested that the county make an effort to install signs, notifying gas trucks of non-GPS roads, or roads the trucks may not be able to turn around on. There have been several instances of vehicles getting stuck, because the drivers utilize roads they believe are gas roads, only to travel so far and not be able to turn around. These calls tie up much of the Fire and Rescue services’ time around the county, while costing the county money.
In news related to the sheriff’s office, the sheriff’s office will be receiving a backup generator, which includes a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the city and county. The county is waiting to hear back from FEMA in regards to the generator.
Also, Office of Emergency Management Director Tom Cooper informed the LEPC that Statewide Interopable Radio Network (SIRN) radios for Paden City Police Department have been delivered and submitted a reimbursement request.
It was also stated that the breathing air compressor is on hold due to the fact that the trailer is at maximum capacity, so heavy duty axles will be installed.
The county has been awarded a Search and Rescue training grant through Homeland Security; this grant will be used for search management training. Individuals throughout the state will be invited to attend the course.
Furthermore, it was reported the 2016 Emergency Management Performance Grant reimbursement request has been granted and the county is waiting for the check to arrive. The 2017 EMPG papers have been filled out and filed.
The Code Red public notification system is still being updated with data. Cooper is working to find a database that is geographically indexed.
Bids will be sent out in preparation to install the LED signs across the county. The signs will be geographically located so that they cover the main points entering the county.
The LEPC was also informed the February Search and Rescue field training went well, and training topics included controlled bleeding, search management, GPS and compass training. The March SAR field training is scheduled for March 10, and the K9 handler’s class is March 4. There was also a K9 handling course held by Blue Racer where the dogs went through human remains training.
The LEPC will be holding a SIRN radio communications workshop as well as a SIRN radio functional exercise to make sure that county employees know how to properly work the SIRN radios.
An emergency plan is being created for Conaway Lake. Any lake that’s under the Army Corps of Engineers has to have an emergency plan so that the county would be prepared if the dam were to break or in the case of a catastrophic wash out. The plan includes blockages, detours, and evacuations.
The Community Resources and WV Volunteers Organizations Active In Disasters (VOAD) have assisted two special needs homes with furnaces. The VOAD project was sponsored by an EQT donation.
The commission has signed an MOU with the National Dislocated Worker Grant in regard to the stream cleanup from the 2017 severe storms and flooding. They will work with the WV Workforce to hire workers to help with stream cleanup in areas provided by the OEM.
Several of the local organizations represented at the meeting include: Tyler County Office of Emergency Management, National Weather Service, Sistersville General Hospital, Westbrook Health Services, Tyler County 911, Tyler County Commission, Mon Power, West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Wetzel/Tyler Health Department, Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, Stonerise at Home, Air Evac Lifeteam, Tyler County Board of Education, and Tyler County Search and Rescue.
The LEPC would like to thank Libby Durr with MonPower for supplying the February breakfast through means of a $200 donation to the Tyler County Senior Citizens Center.
The next LEPC meeting will be held on April 5, beginning at 9 a.m. and located at the Tyler County Senior Citizens Center in Middlebourne.