At least five counties in northeast Nebraska are working to develop what they’re calling a regional Incident Management Team.
Kevin Garvin, emergency management director for Cedar County, says the counties are signing a pact to help each other and share resources when needed.
“We’re trying to put together a team of highly-trained folks that can support one another in times of emergency,” Garvin says. “We’re trying to be self-sufficient so we can manage things until either state or federal folks come to assist.”
Garvin says each county has its own equipment which could be shared in an emergency, whether it’s some sort of natural disaster or an act of terror.
“One county’s got a communications trailer,” he says. “Their county board has said, ‘If there’s an emergency of significance within the region, by all means, we’ll share,’ and we’ve said that with some of our equipment. This is just a means of formalizing that.”
Many counties have worked together in the past, but the fires in north-central Nebraska this year showed how quickly local resources could be used up.
Counties considering the alliance include: Cedar, Dakota, Dixon, Knox and Wayne, and Garvin says others may still sign on.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton