Missouri emergency responders maintain responsibilities during crises
Feb 28, 2013
City and town safety involves comprehensive strategies developed by community leaders, and emergency responders are crucial for municipality residents. In Kansas City, Missouri, a recent accident brought questions about the city's preparedness for dangerous situations, but trained personnel offered immediate support during the incident.
According to The Kansas City Star, an explosion occurred in the city on February 19, 2013, that exposed citizens to several hazards, including toxic fumes. Kansas City fire and police department administrators evaluated the scenario and did not evacuate nearby businesses and homes despite receiving 911 calls about strong natural gas smells in the area.
"If there was a strong odor, we have to leave that up to the experts at the scene," Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi told the news source.
Local authorities are investigating the incident, which caused several fatalities and injuries. Kansas City Councilman John Sharp stated that formal evacuation processes must be established to help residents avoid dangerous situations and teach first responders how to properly manage these emergencies.
Currently, Kansas City leaders have followed a safety protocol established after Hurricane Katrina. The strategy includes basic information to assist crisis management teams, but city officials will reevaluate the plan in the recent explosion's aftermath.
"If it turns out that something should be tweaked or done differently, that will certainly be something we will take a look at," Kansas City Mayor Sly James told the newspaper. "But I'm not looking for somebody to blame...I'm not coming in with a preordained conclusion that somebody screwed up."
In Covington, Georgia, local leaders will host public safety training sessions to educate citizens about a wide range of emergencies. The Covington News reports that city administrators will offer a 12-week Public Safety Citizen's Academy starting on April 11, 2013.
Program participants can learn about public safety resources available throughout the city. The sessions will include demonstrations, presentations and hands-on tutorials from skilled professionals. Additionally, practical exercises from local fire and police personnel are designed to teach residents about the importance of community safety.
uAlert by Amerilert significantly benefits city and town officials in a number of ways. The intuitive platform enables community administrators to keep residents up to date in blackouts, evacuations, lockdowns and other crises. With this emergency notifications system, municipality officials can deliver messages through emails, phone calls, text alerts and Facebook, Twitter and website notifications.