Members of the staff for the BC MO EM were busy with training and public interaction this month. They continued the plan to put the downstream notification system in place and the plan to bring the 146.925 back online for use by Benton County.
We had a couple of volunteers take part in WebEOC training and ICS-300 and ICS-400 training. The WebEOC training is for the online program used in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to communicate with all agencies in all locations about the need for resources when emergencies occur. The ICS-300 and ICS-400 are higher tier courses designed to teach our employees and volunteers how the chain of command works and how involved agencies manage staffing resources, resource management, unified command, and incident management during emergencies. We want to thank our volunteers Christy Barber and Roger Wiltz for giving their time to learn more about and serve in positions in the EOC by furthering their training! We appreciate your dedication and effort to help our county!
This month, Mark and Sam have completed training on the new RAVE communications system our county will be using for not only downstream notifications, but targeted warnings of dangers which may affect portions of our population and contacting groups of employees for different parts of the county. We expect to roll out the system to the residents of Benton County in October!
Through the efforts of the BC MO EM, BC MO CERT, Warsaw Fire Protection District, Warsaw Lincoln Ambulance Barn, Lincoln Community Fire Department, Compass Health, BC ARES, and dinner sponsors McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, and Sonic, the September 2018 CERT training class took place on Monday and Thursday evening during the month. Volunteers attended the training to learn Fire Safety, Disaster Medical Operations, and Search & Rescue, along with Emergency Communications. The volunteers were provided with a manual and learned in the classroom and they were given extensive hands-on training to ensure they were fully capable in performing the tasks the BC MO CERT may need them to do in large-scale emergencies. Our dinner sponsors were amazing! McDonald’s covered three nights, Pizza Hut covered two nights, Subway covered two nights and Sonic covered one night (two of the sponsors covered the final disaster scenario, which we’ll cover in October’s summary!). They provided meals for the full class, trainers, and first responders assisting with the training. The amount of support and outreach from the first responders and sponsors in the community was absolutely fantastic! We hope this continues as we prepare to put the schedule for the March 2019 training class in place. Stay tuned for more information on that!
Sam has completed the paperwork and all of the legal requirements related to the purchase of the 146.925 Amateur Radio Repeater for Benton County. After obtaining the programming cable and software for the repeater, she contacted a representative at the Missouri Repeater Council (MRC) to learn more about and bring the repeater back online. We are scheduled to complete this effort on October 15th. We would like to thank the MRC for all of their efforts, patience, and education on the repeater and look forward to having this valuable resource available for use as a source of redundant communication for our county! For more information on the repeater and amateur radio in our county, please visit the Benton County, MO Amateur Radio Emergency Service website!
Finally, the BC MO EM took part in Community Appreciation Day sponsored by the Friends of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office. In conjunction with the BC MO CERT and the BC ARES, the BC MO EM passed out information on the new Rave communication system to the adults and Glowsticks to the children attending this wonderful event. We saw the fire departments, police, sheriff, EMAs, highway patrol, 911 dispatchers, and live entertainment! Renee Cason represented the BC ARES and Robert Harrison represented the BC MO CERT!
It was a wonderful experience and we look forward to doing even more public appearances and interactions in the future! Thank you for such a great experience!