Trumbull EMA gets $50,000 in upgrades | News, Sports, Jobs


Staff Photo / Bob Coupland John Hickey, director of the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency, shows off the latest equipment and technology at the Warren Township office.

WARREN TOWNSHIP — With $50,000 in technology and equipment upgrades and enhancements made over the past eight months to the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency, the center plans to provide more weather and emergency warning services to the public.

It also prepares more in-depth training for security forces and emergency teams.

Emergency management director John Hickey, who started in October after retiring as Champion fire chief, said this year he was focusing on updating the emergency operations plan County.

“I plan to do more PR and get out there and see more people. I want people to know and understand what EMA is doing for the county,” Hickey said, noting it was difficult to do during the coronavirus pandemic and with many community events canceled.

He said that over the past eight months there have been many upgrades and improvements to the EMA center located near the Trumbull County Engineer’s office. Improvements were also made to EMA classrooms, where county security forces receive training.

“The center’s technology has been updated and the classroom training area also has new technology. We have new monitors and other equipment that makes it more user-friendly,” he said.

The center will be able to accommodate more courses related to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he added.

OUTSIDE AND SURROUNDINGS

Hickey said he is trying to be more visible to the public and will be participating in the Trumbull County Fair and local Community Safety Day events. He said he would set up display tables and hand out EMA brochures on tornadoes, floods and heat-related hazards.

As the only member of staff in the EMA office, Hickey said he couldn’t attend all the events, but plans to do more this year and attend county meetings , village and canton.

“Anyone who wants to listen to me, I will be happy to talk about what EMA does and has to offer”, Hickey said.

He said that with fewer staff, he is able to save money for upgrades and new advanced technologies, monitors, tables and chairs, more accessibility to computers – everything what he should have done before.

“We were way behind to get that. We can do a more thorough evaluation of the EMA and make upgrades where there may have been gaps. This will help us move forward.” Hickey said.

The EMA was established in 1989 in the basement of the Trumbull County Combined Health District in Warren, then moved to the 911 center in Howland, was located for a time at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and for the past 10 years at the location near North River Road.

Hickey said the EMA was also working with battery factories and vehicle assembly facilities in Lordstown on emergency training programs for local safety and emergency crews who would need to respond to the scene. .

The EMA is also continuing its working relationship with the National Weather Service.

“We are a fully functional operation with what we have been able to add”, he said.

ROLE OF EMA

He said Trumbull EMA deals with emergencies and helps communities prepare for emergencies that may arise – such as severe storms, snow storms, floods.

Hickey said the EMA is working more with the county planning commission and the county engineer’s office.

“We have more of a partnership with both of them and a working relationship with them. My goal is to make the Emergency Management Office a model for other agencies to watch and emulate what we do,” he said.

Hickey said that in the event of a major disaster, the EMA has the technology to activate a weather emergency or related emergency notification and alert system on cellphones. This service will be available from September.

He said people will be able to sign up for the notification service. Hickey said it would benefit schools, law enforcement and businesses. It will be similar to the Amber Alert when a child goes missing, he noted.

The alerts would be road closures and boil alerts to severe storms and tornadoes.

One of the main pieces of equipment is a large computer screen in the classroom that will display weather conditions and allow the EMA to notify people and agencies of alerts and emergencies. The map can be projected and zoomed to specific locations.

TRAINING EFFORTS

Hickey said the Emergency Management Agency board made the improvements possible.

Ed Anthony, chairman of the EMA board, said Hickey had made “phenomenal work” since his appointment to this position last fall.

“He made many updates to the facility to bring it into the 21st century. There are now cameras, equipment, computers and new furniture in the training rooms. It was necessary for more modern training,” he said.

Anthony said he wishes some things had been updated before, but he’s glad they’re done now. He said they were paid for by various grants that could be obtained and funds available to the EMA.

“He managed to organize the EMA and meet the standards for 2022,” said Anthony.

EMA Board Member Jeff Tucker de Braceville added: “We are in awe of everything John has been able to do and gather at EMA. We hear what he plans to do and then he is able to successfully complete it. which is very important.

Hickey, who for the past eight months has battled a tornado in Mecca, a major snowstorm in January and February that shut down the county, and flash flooding this spring, said many masks and Personal protective items are available at EMA for communities that may need them.



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