Photo courtesy of Inciweb
FIRST RESPONDERS gather at the Eagle Creek fire in this September photo filed by agency staff involved in the firefighting endeavor. Klickitat County is asking for volunteer help staffing its Goldendale emergency operations center. The first meeting will be Jan. 10. For details, contact program coordinator Scott Koehler at ScottKoehler97123@gmail.com or call KCDEM at 509-773-0582.
As of Tuesday, December 26, 2017
The Klickitat County Department of Emergency Management (KCDEM) is seeking citizen volunteers to assist in staffing the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Goldendale during large-scale emergencies. Citizens will assist KCDEM staff in supporting first responders during natural and man-made disasters.
Jeff King, director of Emergency Management, notes that volunteers can help staff the EOC during disasters, and during large-scale exercises — where fire, law enforcement, EMS personnel, and others plan, practice, and prepare for disasters.
Volunteers can serve as the public information officer, can provide logistical support to field operations, plan for multiple-day operations, and track financial activities related to the incident or event for possible future reimbursement by the federal government.
Volunteers can also answer KCDEM phones, talk on emergency radio frequencies, staff the mobile command vehicle, and perform a list of other tasks to support emergency workers in the field and prepare the EOC in advance for emergency round-the-clock operation.
“There are so many tasks that need to be done that volunteers should be able to find activities and responsibilities that interest them. And KCDEM will provide the training,” said a news release from Klickitat County explaining the program.
Emergency management volunteers will be meeting one Tuesday night per month starting in January. Meetings and training nights will run for approximately two hours. Training will be provided through classes and exercises.
Some exercises will incorporate emergency responders. A minimum of 20 hours of annual training will be required.
The first meeting is scheduled for Jan. 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on the ground floor of the KCDEM Building at 199 Industrial Way in Goldendale.
Interested people 18 years or older must submit an application and successfully pass a background check to be considered for membership.
Emergency management volunteers will also be required to sign a confidentiality agreement due to exposure to confidential information that will be encountered during their service in the EOC.
Emergency management volunteers will be on-call 24/7 to assist the EOC, if they are available.
There will, also, be other opportunities to participate in exercises and DEM-involved community events throughout the year.
Contact Emergency Management Program Coordinator Scott Koehler at ScottKoehler97123@gmail.com or call KCDEM at 509-773-0582 if you want an application and background check form or if you have any questions about the program.
The Goldendale-based department’s mission is to provide “robust disaster mitigation, response, recovery, and public outreach through various emergency management programs.”
Visit the county website for more information at www.klickitatcounty.org.