On February 14, 2012, Wareham Police Chief Richard M. Stanley, Emergency Management Director for the Town of Wareham, and Douglas Forbes, Regional Director for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) held the first meeting to establish a Local Emergency Management Committee (LEPC).
The mission of the LEPC is to partner with federal, state, and local government agencies to rapidly recover from large and small disasters. This is accomplished by assessing and mitigating hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and building the capacity to recover.
For the first time ever in just under twelve weeks, the Town of Wareham earned “Start Up” Certification from MEMA. Director Forbes made the formal presentation last evening to the Board of Selectmen at their regularly scheduled weekly meeting.
Members of the Wareham LEPC include public safety personnel from Wareham Police, Wareham and Onset Fire departments, Harbormaster’s office, EMS, Board of Health, Municipal Maintenance, Tobey Hospital, and local resident John Wiliszowski, a client executive with IBM computer systems.
In addition, interns in the Emergency Management undergraduate program at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Jeremy Letson and Kyle Sleek, were instrumental in the formulation of a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) for the town.
The CEMP is a labor intensive document that requires gathering and inputting data such as emergency contacts, escape routes, mapping flood zones, identifying emergency shelters etc. Letson and Sleek were presented with certificates of recognition for their tireless efforts in putting this plan together.
Douglas Forbes praised the efforts of the LEPC and said, “Wareham is a better place with this plan in place and Wareham’s program is one of the best I have seen to date.” Chief Stanley thanked all of the LEPC members for their dedication to the program while Deputy Director, Lt. John Walcek stated, “We are now a better prepared town and the teamwork and cooperation between town departments has been commendable.”
Chief Stanley’s future goal is to attain “Full” certification with MEMA for the town and has already started the process with a meeting of all LEPC members scheduled for this week.