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LEPC accepts applications for membership

By Staff | Aug 7, 2013

Participants applied to become committee members of the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) at the Aug. 1 meeting. Applications were filled out and turned in at the end of the meeting.

Committee Member Don Collins described guidelines for member status.

“You have to be representing somebody in order to have a vote,” he said.

Entities represented include, but are not limited to: law enforcement, medical institutes, municipalities, industries, and schools.

“There are at least 11 spaces to be filled,” he said, clarifying that space is subject to change. “There can be more, a lot more.”

“I think everyone here is a part of something and could be a member,” said Office of Emergency Management Director and LEPC Co-chairman Tom Cooper, to which Collins agreed.

The applications, as well as their updated bylaws, will be submitted for approval to the Tyler County Commission, John Stender, president. LEPC Chairman Patrick Walsh agreed to email the LEPC bylaws to anyone who would like a copy of them.

The LEPC is also accepting nominations for four positions. Those positions are chairman, co-chairman, secretary, and public information officer.

“Be thinking about not only yourself, but someone else who may be good in those spots,” said Walsh.

Out of those four positions, the two that are elected are the chairman and co-chairman. A vote will take place at the next meeting.

When Walsh asked about updates to Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs), Cooper stated they are currently in good shape.

“We’ll have to get started on the next one,” said Cooper. “I think we need to do at least a couple more.”

When asked about drills, he said they have participated in several drills and exercises, including a full scale exercise. He stated he submitted invoices from an exercise to Homeland Security and is expecting reimbursements between $700 and $800.

LEPC discussed the need to participate in a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) exercise.

“We have to participate in a HAZMAT exercise sometime this year in order to be eligible for all of these funds,” said Cooper.

They listed the possibility of cooperating with another entity to fulfill their need for the exercise.

“If anyone knows of any HAZMAT exercises, let us know,” said Cooper.

He reported that he planned on attending the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) conference in Charleston at the end of August.

SERC will pay for another member to accompany him.

Cooper reported under treasury that they have received a $1,000 check from SERC and it has since been deposited.

He stated that REPS Inc.’s work on the CriPos project should be wrapped up in September. He informed members that everything ordered through recent grant money, except for the inflatable shelter, has been received.

Money left over from grants, said Cooper, has been used to purchase a trailer for their generators.

“We changed all of the oil and have all of the generators ready,” he said. “There’s a trailer full of them. We have 12 generators now, plus two light plants. They’re on the trailer.”

He said that each ambulance and each fire department in Tyler County are to receive a mobile radio and a portable radio. Leftover grant funding is being used to add a digital interface to their portable radio systems.

“Those radios are tricky and difficult to get on the right channels, because there’s only a few unlabeled buttons,” said Cooper. “It’s cryptic to go through all of the talk groups.”

Now those operating the radios will be able to view all nearby channels on a laptop screen and have the option of tuning out select ones.

“They’ll actually run the radios from a laptop,” said Cooper.

Minutes of the last meeting were approved. The next meeting is planned for Sept. 5. It will occur at 9 a.m. in the Sistersville Fire Hall. Breakfast will be paid for by Jay-Bee Oil & Gas and prepared by the Sistersville Fire Auxiliary; members of the public are welcome to attend.