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June 19, 2007

Local Emergency Committee Meeting Minutes


Don Button called the meeting to order at 6:08 PM with 12 members present; Jeff Baier, Alfred Baker, Keith Bryant, Don Button, Vivian Button, Jerry Jo Deckert, Richard Everett, Roger Gardner, Toni Irvin, Sharon Phelps, Ramona Fonseca-Nava – RN CNDR, and Bill Hall.


Alfred Baker made a motion to accept the minutes to the last meeting.  Jeff Baier seconded.  Motion carried.


Superintendent Bill Hall talked about using the schools as a storm shelter.  He stated Hickok and Sullivan just has enough room for the students for shelter just under the stage.  At Kepley under the auditorium or stage is not a good place because it seems to be a wind tunnel.  Not a lot of room left at the Kepley Gym locker rooms after you get the students to shelter.  The best location would be the High School.  It could be utilized during the school year, August to May because someone is there from 7:00 AM until 11:00 PM.  Using it during the summer posses problems with who will unlock the doors and the alarm system and security.  He is not comfortable with using it for a 24 hour 7 days a week shelter because of these issues.  At Joyce School the stairs are very steep and the door to the basement is very heavy.


The St. Catherine’s notice in the Garden City telegram that talked about shelters was discussed.  Only 2 of the shelters named are 24/7 shelters.


The Buddy system was also discussed.  This is finding someone close to you or a friend, who has a basement or safe room, who will allow you to go there during a storm.  Or if you have a basement let your neighbors know they can come to your location.


The Grant County Library is available as a storm shelter during their business hours which are Monday thru Thursday 9 AM to 8 PM, Friday and Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM and Sunday from 2 PM to 5 PM. During a Tornado warning the front door will be locked you need to enter by the West door.


Bob Wilson Hospital is not a public Shelter.   ER doors are the only doors open after 9:00 PM. They do not have a lot of room but they will not turn citizens away.


The Shelter Committee is also looking into business down town and churches and the safety of these locations.


We also discussed NOAA Radios. If the NOAA Radio has Alert function it should go off when watches and warning are issued.  Portable radios are nice because you can take them with you to outdoor functions or when you travel.


The Clerk of the District Court’s Office has assisted with translating the weather information on Channel 10 to Spanish.


One 2006 Homeland Security Regional Project is interoperable communications equipment. The region has 4 communication trailers. They are equipping these trailers with UHF, VHF and 800 Mhz bases and 10 programmable portables of UHF and VHF. They are also putting an ACU 1000T Crossband repeater in each trailer.  They are putting 800 MHz radios in the dispatch centers in the region. Don Button and Jeff Baier will be attending a meeting in Wichita on June 26 to talk about funding for the 2007 year.   The amount of the funding will be announce on July 3rd.  Don asked if anyone knew of any equipment that would be beneficial to the region.  Jerry Jo Deckert recommended a Mass Casualty Bus and/or Triage Staging Kits for each county.


Incident Management Team (IMT) statewide meeting will be in Salina on June 29.  They will discuss some of the lessons learned in Greenburg. One of the main lessons is to take care of your family first and then you will be able to do your job better. IMT training is set up for September 24 to 29. The training is for six full days.  They are evaluating and improving the training and the pilot program should be ready by September.


Another lesson learned at Greenburg is to have a COG. COG is Continuity of Government.  For Grant County we need a plan that incorporates Ulysses with Grant County.  The Elected Officials were not seen for several days and some decisions had to be made without the appropriate people.  Don is getting a proposal on how much it would cost to have someone else do the COG and he is going to reflect the cost in his budget.


Jerry Jo Deckert talked about EMS’s experiences in Greensburg.


Richard  Everett talked about his experiences. He was with the Amateur Radio to start with and then worked as a Safety Officer.


The storms from Tuesday June 19 were discussed.  We had a wheat field on fire 8 miles north of Ulysses.  That started about the same time The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning.  We had people in the area and there was not a tornado. Several gustnadoes were sited. 12 people were out watching the storms. It was still daylight and with good visibility. If it had been night the sirens would have been set off.  Jeff Hutton presents a new program every year for Weather awareness in March.  We have had the Weather Awareness classes every year since 1988.

LEPC Conference for Region 7 will be August 16 to August 19 in Kansas City.  KDEM has grants available to assist in paying for the conference.


The Health Department make up exercise will be July 24 from 10-2 on Food Bourne Illness.  The After Action Report will be conducted the same day.  Organizations involved will be Health Department, Hospital, EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement and Emergency Management.

Roger Gardner stated West link has installed 9 new towers. Don said his West link 

Air card for his computer was a life saver in Greensburg.  Pioneer Communication has a portable tower for West Link.


Sharon Phelps said they were doing lots of kindergarten physicals.


The Regional Council is purchasing 3 portable work corrals on trailers to be placed strategically around the region.  It is very important that the Regional Council and Emergency Managers work closely with the Livestock Industries.


The Grant County EMS hosted the SKEMS Regional Annual Meeting on June 20.  Eighteen counties with 26 Ambulance Services represent Southwest Kansas Emergency Medical Service (SKEMS).


BP Community Driving Awareness Day will be in August.


Thadd Kistler and Tim McCauley have organized a Community Cleanup day for Frazier Park and the draw area.


Alfred Baker talked about Columbia Chemical had completed an Environmental Audit and passed with flying colors.  They are also changing the County colors at the plant.


Upcoming training:

      Fundamentals Course for Refresher & Radiological Awareness Garden City, July 9

      Fundamentals Course for Refresher & Radiological Operations Garden City, July 10

      Fundamentals Course for Radiological Technicians/ Radiological Officers

Garden City, July 11 & 12

      Refresher Course for Radiological Technicians/Radiological Officers on July 12.


The meeting was adjourned at 7.58 PM.  Al Baker made a motion to adjourn and Keith Bryant seconded.


Next Meeting August 9, 2007 Because of fair and the LEPC conference.


Submitted by Vivian Button