On Tuesday, March 10, the Saguache County Office of Emergency Management (SCOEM) hosted a Multi-Agency Coordination Meeting. This meeting consisted of emergency management practitioners, organizational and community leaders, government officials, and first responders.
The purpose of this meeting was to review emergency plans, identify potential hazards and shortcomings, and to identify ways to strengthen collaboration.
“What we saw here today displayed the commitment we all have to emergency preparedness here in Saguache County, said SCOEM Director Bobby Woelz. “Today was truly about neighbor helping neighbor.”
Thirty-nine participants represented agencies including: Town of Moffat, Town of Saguache, Town of Center, Saguache Public Health, school district personnel, law enforcement, fire, EMS, search and rescue, SLV HazMat, Xcel Energy, Baca Water and Sanitation District, Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, Kundalini Fire Management, Saguache County FireWise, and US Forest Service representatives from both the Rio Grande and Gunnison National Forests. Participants also included emergency managers from Saguache, Conejos, Costilla, and Rio Grande Counties.
Participants reviewed the Saguache County Emergency Operations Plan, discussed crisis communication strategies, participated in an Accountability Drill, and conducted a Table Top Exercise on Early Alert and Warning. Taking a “whole-community” approach to emergency management these agencies collectively assessed the needs of the community and identified the best ways to organize and strengthen their capabilities. By doing so, a more effective path to societal security and resilience was built.
“This was one of the largest coordination meetings of its kind here in Saguache. Perhaps this is because of the current Coronavirus outbreak; however, I believe it is because we are witnessing a new era in emergency management,” statedWoelz. “Communities and agencies have realized that it is not a question of IF a disaster will affect our community, it is a question of WHEN. The more we can work together now, before disaster strikes, the better. We made great progress today but there is still a lot of work yet to be done.”
For inquiries please contact the Saguache County Office of Emergency Management at: RWoelz@SaguacheCounty-co.gov
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