County Comment: County Trains Local Officials in Emergency Response by Presidential Order

County Comment
County Trains Local Officials in Emergency Response by Presidential Order
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

As part of its regular meeting on November 1, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners took part in training designed to familiarize local officials with a new method of emergency response procedures mandated by Presidential Directive.
Emergency Management Coordinator Verna Brown and Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute Instructor Richard Hopkins presented the program to the Board, and to representatives of the elected governing bodies of the City of Hagerstown, other local municipal governments and to the Board of Education.
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) as implemented by Federal Executive Order provides a consistent nationwide approach to federal, state and local governments to work together more efficiently to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich has also adopted NIMS by Executive Order.
The Presidential Directive requires formal adoption of NIMS to ensure continued federal funding assistance to local governments. The County adopted NIMS on August 23, 2005.
The Executive Level training session began an aggressive implementation program that will include training of all personnel who might be involved in the response to a disaster event in the Principals of the Incident Command System. Emergency Services is working with state and local officials to coordinate the implementation process, and training for all fire and emergency services personnel as well as government employees that would be involved has been scheduled to take place over the next 3 months. The County adopted NIMS on August 23, 2005.