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LEPC Educated on Radioactive Materials

By Staff | May 16, 2018

JoLee Walton has been recognized for her fundraising efforts for Project Lifesaver, which is organized in Tyler County by Office of Emergency Director, Tom Cooper. Project Lifesaver provides law enforcement, fire/rescue, and caregivers with a program designed to protect and quickly locate individuals who might have the tendency to wander. Walton raised $220.35 for Project Lifesaver.

At Tyler County’s recent Local Emergency Planning Committee meeting, Ray Renaud, with the Wetzel County LEPC, gave a presentation on “Radiation Hazards Along Local Roadways.” The presentation explained there are several trucks hauling radioactive material on the roadways, and even though there is a low probability that an event may occur, the local offices of emergency management need to prepared. Renaud explained there is a lot of gas industry activity, which is using radioactive materials to check pipeline weld integrity. There are also radioactive devices that are lowered down into wells, in order to scan the interior to gain a profile of the well. Even some of the fracking sand has been known to give off trace amounts of radiation, according to Renaud.Renaud explained these devices are generally pulled behind a truck and are thoroughly packaged to prevent any form of radioactive leak in the case of an accident. However, the boxes containing the radioactive material aren’t always labeled as radioactive. Some trucks have a panel on the interior of their doors, which is the only indicator of radioactive material. The radioactive device is made of depleted uranium, so it is a major emphasis that first responders be notified and made aware of radioactive material being on site if there ever were an accident.

Renaud would like to see uniform practices so that all trucks are traveling safer. He added that Southwestern has required that all of their traffic be lead by pilot trucks, which has caused the rate of accidents to decrease significantly.

In other news, the LEPC is seeking a Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP)grant in the amount of $10,000 which is to be used toward hazmat/transportation.

The local schools are also requesting more cameras. There have been some cameras installed, but the school would like more. OEM Director Tom Cooper mentioned that the LEPC should be able to get grant funding to put towards the purchase of the new cameras.The LEPC is also looking for grant funding to purchase new traffic signs and and cones for the fire departments.

Also, law enforcement is requesting grant funding for medical supplies for officers, as well as car cameras for the Paden City Police Department.

The Statewide Interoperable Radio Network (SIRN) radios are in the process of being installed, and once they have all been installed, that project will be complete.The OEM is still working on the cascade trailer which will allow for the refill of breathing air compressors on site for local firefighters. Cooper has been working with a vendor which will include a more heavy duty trailer for the bulky compressor.There have been requests submitted for left over funds from the 2014 EMPG grant, reimbursement from the 2016 Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) and paperwork has been finished for the 2017 EMPG, so the LEPC is hoping to get any refunded money available.

The LEPC is still waiting to hear back from FEMA in regards to the backup generator for the sheriff’s office.

The Code Red notification system is being completed, and Paden City utility customers and Tyler Public Service District customers have been added to the database.

Homeland Security is also reviewing a proposed bid sheet for the LED signs to be placed throughout the county. Once Homeland Security has approved the bid, the project will be put out to bid.There was a search and rescue field training event held in April, and the training topic was “Knots, Rigging and The Skewed System.” There will be a wilderness first aid training available May 19 and 20 and the OEM has offered to pay the tuition of the course.

Some of the exercises that need to be done include the SIRN Radio communications workshop and SIRN Radio functional exercise to teach local responders how to properly use the radios.

The Conaway Lake Dam project has been completed, and a public works annex plan will need to be completed next.Cooper announced local student JoLee Walton held a fundraiser for Project Lifesaver, and she raised $220. Project Lifesaver is a tracking device placed on those who might have a tendency of getting lost, such as Alzheimers patients.

The OEM is still waiting to hear back from the National Dislocated Workers Grant about the stream cleanup project. There has been a delay through the state workforce.

Proviron sponsored the May breakfast for the meeting which consists of a $200 donation to the Senior Center located in Middlebourne.

The next LEPC meeting is scheduled for June 7 beginning at 9 a.m. and located at the Tyler County Senior Citizens Center in Middlebourne.