Mayor Steve Myers has targeted emergency planning to deal with future catastrophes such as flooding.
A nine-member emergency management committee (EMC) tasked with helping the city prepare for, respond to and recover from any emergency or disaster was appointed May 15.
Police Chief Matt Mansell, Fire Chief Rick Friedmann, Assistant Fire Chief Gary Graff, Ambulance District Chief Christopher Clifton, Flood Control Manager Dan Rahn, Public Works Director Robert Brueggemann, Building Commissioner Shawn Seymore, City Administrator Steve Roth and the mayor will serve on the committee.
“The goal of the committee will be to review and revise any existing emergency management plans that have been developed for any emergency or disaster that may affect the citizens, businesses or visitors of the city of Pacific,” Myers said.
The EMC will coordinate with an emergency management director (EMD) who will be the ranking officer in an emergency.
The committee also will work to recruit and train an individual for the EMD position, which is presently vacant, but whose duties have fallen upon City Administrator Steve Roth such as in the case of the most recent flooding here.
“Once the position of EMD is filled, the committee will advise the new EMD in “best practices” of emergency operations plans,” Myers said, “everything from a vicious dog on the loose to a nuclear disaster.”
The mayor said the new direction will help the city move beyond reacting to a disaster after it happens. It will identify appropriate responses and resources that can quickly be put in play when disaster strikes, he noted.
“Unfortunately, in recent years, only an emergency event has triggered activity with emergency management with a forced reactive response,” Myers said. “The new EMC will be more proactive in readying the city for possible perils that might befall us so that we can spring into action when faced with an unfortunate event.
“By being better prepared and having a playbook with a well-thought-out plan, the city will potentially be able to minimize the damage experienced by our citizens and their property as well as the city’s infrastructure and facilities,” he added. “In the process, we may be able to prevent or minimize the loss of property and even loss of life.”