Tyler County LEPC Meeting Held
Grants, traings, and Projects were among the items discussed on Thursday, June 3, at the monthly meeting of the LEPC. The meeting started at 9 a.m. with breakfast provided by Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration. Sponsors for breakfast tin May was Proviron and First Energy was the sponsor for the month of April.
Following breakfast and introductions the meeting began with Tyler County Emergency Management director Tom Cooper speaking on recent and ucoming grant for Tyler County. Cooper said the Marathon Petroleum Foundation has granted the Tyler County Office of Emergency Management with a grant of $2,500 for the purchase of two servers for emergency management use. He gave special thanks to Craig Landis and Tina Rush for making it happen.
The OEM is waiting to hear back concerning a mitigation grant. They are seeking funding to install a two-sided LED message board for the Middlebourne Senior Center. Also looking to happen with help from Tyler County schools is two new signs at the elementary schools . One more grant being looked into is one to help Paden City Police Department upgrade their raidios to dual band. Paden City Chief of Police Antony Lauer said his department is in the process of switching over from Wetzel County to Tyler County 911 and the upgrade would make communication a lot easier.
Under training; Cooper said there will be tracking/trailing puppies trained this coming weekend and it will be held at a private farm in Arvilla, Tyler County. On May 25, 2021 Domestic Preparedness training for Hospital Emergency Response Teams by Marietta Memorial Health Systems was held at the Paden City office section of the warehouse.
Cooper added they are working with WVNCC on a crime scene preservation class for search and rescue and law enforcement. It is scheduled for July 17, 2021 in New Martinsville near the college in a wooded area. Also on August 18, 2021 the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center will present an advanced search and rescue class. Details will follow.
Planning for 2021 includes “Annex a direction and control” plan. Another exercise recommended by the EPA is to start planning an oil and or chemical spill drill. Cooper said some suggestions include involving local cities, schools, businesses and even residents. It was mentioned the more people involved the better it would be if a spill occurred.
Projects for the year include the Wetzel/Tyler Health Department still holding vaccine clincis at the United Methodist Church in New Martinsville. This will continue for the next two weeks and then will continue at the health department. Another project is working with St. Marys correctional facility with drones and search capabilities. Rad-X teams will soon be doing COVID testing every Wednesday at the Sistersville VFD.
Cooper said the Cyber Security folks are currently updating OEM’s server system. Also resource manuals are available through the family resource network. Cooper added his office is working on projects with MOVTI, Paden City high school STEM team and West Virginia Northern Community College.
Guest speakers for Thursday were Debbie Bennett, Manager of Campus Operations at the New Martinsville WVNCC Campus, and Jerry Dotson, source water specialist for the WV rural water assosciatio.
Bennett spoke about her role at the college in increasing enrollment. She mentioned the community college is often the best choice for students including a lower cost and being able to stay at home the first couple years. She spoke about the college offering training classes for EMT and Paramedics, plus other medical training. She said they are looking at crime scene training for volunteers in search and rescue. Bennett said they are always looking at ways to train people to get proper job training and find work locally.
Dotson, said one of the roles of the WV rural water association is to help communities get back in coompliance and stay tere. He said it is a difficult challenge as the state has an aging infrastrucure and aging workforce. He mention the difficulty of finding qualified operators and training those who want to be operators. His office provides technical assistance to help communities and areas that have experienced spills and contamination. He also said they work all the time with Seanators Joe Manchin and Shelly Capito to secure training funds for small public water and sewer throughout the state. He also memntioned that anyone wanting to get in the business they offer apprentiship programs.
Following that there was a motion to dismiss. The next meeting will be held on July 1, at 9 a.m. at the Middlebourne senior center with breakfast provided by Antero Resources.