Representative Schwartz presents our Group with a $164,500 check in 2008
PA Representative Rick Taylor presents our Group with a $5,000 check in 2007
Recipient of 2002 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Local Government
Category: Responding To Adversity
Nominee: Eastern Montgomery County Regional Emergency Management Group
2002 Award Essay:
The Eastern Montgomery County Regional Emergency Management Group is an ad hoc group of Emergency Management Coordinators, Police and Fire Chiefs and other interested individuals that has banded together to respond to adversity since its inception approximately ten years ago. Representing over 12 contiguous municipal jurisdictions with a combined population of over 250,000 residents, this group has spearheaded the cooperation necessary to achieve efficient use of resources during an emergency.
Within the last five years, the group has coordinated response to three Presidential declared disasters, several military plane crashes, tornadoes and severe storm situations.
Past examples of this outstanding partnership include: coordination for planned major events, such as Y2K, Republican National Convention, a Blue Angels Air Show; response and recovery coordination from Tropical Storm Allison; and the current terrorism alert and Anthrax crisis.
Expanding on just one of these incidents, Tropical Storm Allison, will provide some insight to the group’s ability to work together in adversity.
On June 16 and 17, 2001, the remnants of Tropical Storm Allison dropped over 10 inches of rain over Eastern Montgomery County within a 12-hour period. For this area, just 5 inches of rain can cause severe flash flooding, transportation gridlock, and major property damage. In the end, over 10 municipalities experienced extensive flooding and damage to over 1,400 homes. Although over 200 vehicle water rescues were made, unfortunately 7 persons died in an apartment building explosion and fire when rescuers could not reach them because of 12 feet of water. All members of the regional group went into action to help other communities as soon as their communities were stabilized, and sought to coordinate relief and recovery operations during the weeks that followed. Special meetings were held to address unmet needs and determine what assistance could be provided. Even months after the disaster, the group worked together on mitigation issues, public education programs, and water rescue training programs for first responders and public works employees.
As true regional partners in planning, response and recovery, this group of local government officials has reached out to local hospitals, school districts, volunteer agencies and others to provide a chord of seamless coordination among their contiguous communities.
The group has also coordinated a world-class training program known as EDITS – 2001 (Emergency Disaster Incident Training Symposium) attended by Emergency Managers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
The group also maintains and provides a Mobile Command Center Bus known as C-300, which has given logistical support to multiple volunteer fire companies, regional hazardous material teams, and numerous municipalities during major populated events.