SIDNEY — The past six months have been busy for the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency.
Members of the advisory committee met Thursday and heard a report of several training workshops, events and current projects from Director Cheri Drinkwine.
The county’s EMA continues to meet with local long-term health care facilities and schools to update their safety plans, Drinkwine said, calling the work “a great benefit” for the county. Plans also are under way to meet with the county’s businesses/industries to gather information on what hazardous materials may be on their site and review safety plans. The first meeting for this program is set for Sept. 28 with American Trim, Drinkwine said.
Drinkwine also reviewed the April 2015 Local Emergency Training Committee (LEPC) training exercises, which were held in Russia and included a mock train derailment with local fire and emergency medical personnel and the Shelby County hazmat team being evaluated on its response time, protective actions and safety practices.
The 2016 LEPC training is set for next April, Drinkwine said, noting that she has started working with representatives from CSX to provide a full-scale mock training.
“Shelby County is a secondary route for (the transportation of) crude oil,” Drinkwine said. The 2016 training will include response to a derailment of crude oil tanks, as well as another yet-to-be-determined chemical at the mock site. “We’ll find something that will be challenging and where we can learn,” she said. “We’re excited about that. It will be a full-scale exercise,” and will include hospital, sheltering and hazmat, as well as first responders.
The Shelby County EMA also is working on preparing a Volunteer Reception Center in the case of any type of emergency within the county, Drinkwine said. The center would be a place for volunteers to gather to register and receive assignments during a disaster. “It would be a place we could send them (volunteers) in the direction where there is a need,” Drinkwine said. The EMA is working with Connection Point Church on this program.
Advisory board chairman Bruce Metz, also representing Jackson Center, gave Drinkwine “kudos” for all the work she is doing in behalf of the county’s EMA, notably the grant-writing projects that have saved the county several thousand dollars this past year.
“Kudos to you, we appreciate it,” Metz said, explaining that a couple of grants helped with the purchase of outdoor warning sirens, one for Fort Loramie and one in Jackson Center.
Drinkwine also has submitted a grant application for a hazmat II vehicle.
Since March, the county EMA has assisted with several spills:
• Semi-tractor fire, 30 gallons of fuel spilled on Interstate 75 on March 13.
• Fuel tank, 30-50 gallons of fuel spilled, Hardin-Wapakoneta to Miami Conservancy roads, April 23.
• Vectren natural gas pipeline, 300 ml cf of natural gas, Patterson-Halpin and Fessler Buxton roads, May 13.
• Fuel leak, 75-plus gallons fuel, Marathon Truck Stop, Anna, on May 15.
• Fuel leak, 150 gallons, I-75, Exit 92, July 27.
• Wagnerware transformer, Aug. 5.
• Norcold, urethan isocynate (foam insulation) 140 gallons, Aug. 12.
The next meeting of the advisory board is set for 8 a.m. March 10 at the EMA building, 800 Fair Road. The meeting has been moved to the morning in hopes representatives from more of the county’s political subdivisions will be able to attend.
For more information, call Drinkwine at 937-492-5635.