Obion County, Tennessee – Local Emergency Planning Committee + Emergency Management Agency

March 2011

Obion County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)
March 29, 2011 – 10:00 a.m.
Location – West TN Regional Health Dept.

LEPC Chair – Phil Green--Town of Troy
LEPC Vice-Chair-- Stan Mitchell – TN Army MARS / Rives Volunteer Fire Dept.
LEPC Secretary—Sherri Hanna—Obion County 911
Rob Adcock—American Red Cross
Lori Barker – West TN Regional Health Department
Brian Davis—Hornbeak Volunteer Fire Department
Chief Kelly Edmison—Union City Fire Department
Jim Foster—Obion County Volunteer Rescue Squad
Polk Glover—Obion County Commission/Town of Obion/911/Red Cross
Pat Hogan—Obion County Chapter-American Red Cross
Shirley Hogan—Obion County Chapter-American Red Cross
Danny Jowers—Obion County EMA Director
Tom Menees—PIO, City of Woodland Mills
Nancy Morrison—Obion County 911
Campbell Rice—Asst. Chief, Rives Volunteer Fire Department
Bob Stephens—Union City Rotary Club
Kevin Younger—Obion County Volunteer Rescue Squad

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Chairman Phil Green. He announced that the
next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on April 26.

A Hamfest event for amateur radio operators was held a couple of weeks prior to the meeting.
It was reported that TEMA is very well aware of the efforts made by Obion County LEPC.

The minutes from February 2011 were presented for approval. Campbell Rice made a motion to
accept the minutes, and Jim Foster seconded the motion. The motion carried.

There was concern voiced about the communications/trunking system as Chairman Green
asked what would happen to the large supply of Type I walkies that were distributed in the
past. EMA Director Danny Jowers said that some of them would be reflashed, and EMA i planning to pay for some reprogramming. Mr. Foster asked about the digital radios, and Mr.
Jowers said that replacement of them is on the bottom of the list because Sprint is paying for it.
Chairman Green reported that Green Plains Renewable Energy (the ethanol plant) hosted
recent training for High-Angle and Confined Space Rescue for their plant personnel and
emergency responders.
An EOC/communications tabletop exercise was held March 15. Mr. Jowers said that one of the
weaknesses of the exercise was that we all felt the ESFs would be explained better in the
exercise. The scenarios presented included what we would do if we lost the hospital and the
schools (planned shelters) One of the issues that hadn’t been fully considered in the planning
was the amount of fuel needed for continuity of operations.

It was discussed that the normal household has an average of three weeks food on hand, and
most people will not want to leave their homes in the case of a disaster. Sheltering in place is
more the norm.
The scenario was good to make each of us think more realistically about the needs of the
community following a catastrophic event.
The ESFs were assigned by Mr. Jowers for the purpose of the exercise. In the case of an actual
activation, Fire/Rescue would not be able to be tied up in the EOC—they would need to be in
Operations. The American Red Cross will be everywhere. Rob Adcock, the new Executive
Director for the Obion County Chapter, said that Obion County is considered a priority location
for response.
A challenge for the staffing of the EOC is fatigue factor. We must have relief positions and
Polk Glover asked how the participants in the exercise overcame the loss of the schools in the
scenario. Mr. Jowers said that it was discovered that Union City Elementary and Union City High
School have already been designated as the alternate hospital through a Memorandum of
Understanding. Sherri Hanna told the group that the fairgrounds was identified as an alternate
shelter area.
Mr. Rice said that the shelter tents should be set up on solid ground, not grass, due to
rain/mud. His company does sell inflatable tents that can be used as a mobile shelter, triage
area or hospital. Critical patients are sent elsewhere in such an emergency. Lake County has
already bought some of these tents. Bob Stephens asked what happens to the tent system
when the event is over; Mr. Rice replied that the tent systems are packed back up for the next
Mr. Jowers said that he needs a few more signatures on the Basic Emergency Operations Plan.
The changes to the plan were mandated by the state. Support agencies can be just as important
as the lead agencies. For example, TEMA is listed as the lead Search & Rescue agency but the
Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads (TARS) is list as support. According to new guidelines,
only government agencies can be designated as lead agencies for the ESFs. The Rescue Squad
and American Red Cross are not government agencies so they cannot be listed as lead agencies
in the BEOP. Mr. Adcock said that FEMA and American Red Cross are considered co-leads.
Chairman Green voiced concern for the Obion County Volunteer Rescue Squad because the
Goodyear plant closing will affect Obion County United Way funds. The Rescue Squad stands to
lose up to 90% of its funding due to the projected decrease in United Way funds.
It was discussed that mutual aid may not be what it was under the county fire subscription plan.
Mr. Foster said that recently Obion County Rescue Squad responded to a grass fire in Woodland
Mills, and someone jumped the gun and called for Hickman Fire to respond mutual aid. He said
that TARS sets up basic guidelines within Obion County Rescue Squad must operate, but they
are their own governing body. Mr. Jowers said that is why the Rescue Squad cannot be a lead
agency in the BEOP.
Mr. Jowers asked who is going to operate if the Obion County Rescue Squad budget doesn’t
allow for the same responses they make now. Mr. Foster said that the Rescue Squad is working
on a contingency plan.
Mr. Jowers asked again who is going to cover the emergencies (that Obion County Rescue
Squad responds to now) if they are unable to continue. He said that there has got to a middle
ground somewhere, perhaps the county fire committee.
Chief Kelly Edmison said that the problem with operating a subscription system is exactly what
happened in Woodland. The fire departments cannot go mutual aid to a fire they refused under
the subscription system.
All voiced a concern about the financial effect of Goodyear’s announced plant closing.
Mr. Jowers said that Danny Carr will be teaching the 300/400 courses in May. Brian Davis said
that an Incident Command course is planned for March 29 at 6 p.m. Chief Edmison stated that
since the fire departments are working more closely together, there is much more joint
Mr. Foster made a motion to adjourn, and Vice-Chairman Stan Mitchell seconded the motion.
The motion carried, and the meeting was adjourned at 10:31am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: