EMA workshop ‘helpful’

Published 6:53 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Butler County Emergency Management Agency held a disaster preparedness workshop Thursday at Beeland Park.

Thirty-three representatives from 22 organizations throughout Butler County attended the workshop, which was designed to equip local leaders for issues that arise during a disaster.

“It was very well attended,” Butler County EMA Shirley Sandy said. “We had a lot of different organizations represented, which allowed for some networking to happen between the different groups. I really think it benefited the county.”

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The one-day workshop, taught by instructors from Texas Engineering Extension Service, focused on roles, responsibilities and preparedness challenges; domestic preparedness resources and how to leverage them for the community; Homeland Security Strategic planning and emergency operations plans; and executive-level incident response and recovery considerations.

The training session also include a tabletop exercise focusing on a railroad derailment behind the school, which allowed the participants to put into practice some of the principles that were taught during the earlier portions of the workshop.

“It was really well done,” said Butler County Commissioner Frank Hickman, who attended the workshop. “It was a good chance for us as a group to take a look at issues that our area, and to look at ways to enhance our communication in some areas. It was very helpful.”

Butler County Commission chairman Jesse McWilliams applauded Sandy’s work in helping Butler County prepare for potential emergency situations.

“If we have something I think Butler County will be head and shoulders above because of the work she has done,” he said. “Shirley has done a great job and we’re fortunate to have someone of her caliber in this position.”

Representatives from Alabama Power, the Town of McKenzie, the City of Georgiana, the Butler County Volunteer Fire Department, the Butler County Road Department, the Butler County Commission, the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Greenville, the Greenville Fire Department, the Greenville Police Department, the Butler County Public Health Department, L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital, SouthernLinc, the Butler County Board of Education, W.O. Parmer Elementary School, the Butler County Ministerial  Association, the Butler County E-911, the Butler County EMA, the Butler County DHR, the Alabama Juvenile Department, the American Red Cross and the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce attended the workshop.