Area Leaders Look to Expand Disaster Response Team

Area Leaders Look to Expand Disaster Response Team

Training is planned to build an incident response team connecting northwest Missouri with other parts of the state.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It has been a relatively dry summer for the most part in northwest Missouri, but other parts of the state are still recovering from recent floods.
 
As water raced toward roads and homes in Pulaski County, emergency responders raced into action.

"You cross those bridges and you know where the river is supposed to be. Then, on both sides of it, you just see fields of water. You know that it's just a disaster," said Ryan Nicholls, Springfield-Green County emergency management director.

Nicholls was just one of many coordinating the response earlier this month. But, the relief effort stretched across the state in the days that followed.

"If we don't have our neighbors and ourselves to be able to respond to disasters and catastrophes, we don't have anything," said Corey Sloan, who joined the incident response team.

The former Cameron police chief joined Clinton County's Emergency Management Director Blair Shock to help with flood relief. They said they stepped in with regional support when the first responders needed a break.

"When you demobilize, the real recovery begins. That's the longest and hardest process in disaster response and recovery," said Shock.

Whether it's watching rapidly rising waters, or organizing supplies for flood victims, coordination is key.

"It kind of goes back to the theory that no agency can handle and emergency of that magnitude by themselves. We have to depend on each other," said Sloan.

"That's reality wherever you go. No single emergency management agency has the ability to effectively manage a disaster within their jurisdiction for an extended period of time," added Shock.

Sloan and Shock hope this regional effort is one that will continue.

Additional training is planned to build an incident response team connecting northwest Missouri with other parts of the state. That way, if our area sees disaster, our neighbors in emergency management will be ready to respond.

Sloan and Shock are already working with Region D in southwest Missouri to coordinate training dates for the incident response team. The first sessions begin in September.
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