Even though the committee, under the direction of Mayor Harvey Persons, was created in reaction to paralyzing ice and snow storms in January and February, Persons said its function is to evaluate the city’s response to any citywide emergency, regardless of its nature.
“The committee would evaluate city response, for instance, to a hostage situation or train derailment involving hazardous material spills or anything that would impact the entire city,” Persons said.
“Our city has an event procedure that conforms to state and national guidelines, which offers a detailed, procedural plan as to how to deal with unusual occurrences.”
However, Persons said this committee would give the city’s plan more of a localized approach to a citywide emergency.
Other committee members include city councilmen Samuel Davis, Mike Miller and Mark Adams and City Manager Bill Osborne.
Explaining the function of the committee, Persons said Osborne would compile the information from city departments and remain in contact with city and county emergency responders.
After compiling the information, Osborne would then submit a full report to the committee, Persons said.
Osborne said the committee gives the city a forum to have discussions on emergency response.
“Although city and county departments were better prepared to work in conjunction following the Feb. 10 weather emergency than the one in January, much of the credit for the improved response must go to our residents for heeding the information from the city and staying off the streets,” he said.