County looks at its emergency response

By Hank Lohmeyer

Matters of emergency preparedness and management occupied the Board of County Commissioners Monday at its regular meeting.

Local government staff has reported anecdotally that federal agencies are heightening funding priorities for emergency preparedness, though there were no federal funding initiatives noted in the BoCC's actions Monday.

The BoCC approved a mutual aid agreement with Mesa County. The agreement stipulates that either party to the agreement may request the aid of the other for the purpose of "assisting in the controlling or combating of a disaster, whether manmade or naturally occurring."

Types of emergencies that may be the cause of a request for aid under the pact include law enforcement, fire, emergency medical, public health, or public works incidents.

In a separate matter, commissioners also approved and signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which stipulates use of facilities at Delta County Memorial Hospital as an emergency operations center by the Delta County Office of Emergency Management.

Under the agreement, the DCMH oncology building could be used as a designated emergency operation center if needed. The Oncology Center may also be tasked for use in emergency training exercises, for preparedness activities, and for county emergency office events.

In a separate item of county business, there will be an emergency response meeting that is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 20.

Also, commissioners were informed there will be an emergency preparedness exercise on Aug. 25 that will assess the county's response to an "active shooter" incident. The exercise will be conducted as a "table top" drill in a group discussion format.

Another emergency training exercise which is set to take place at the county fairgrounds in the near future has not as of Monday had a final date scheduled.