Report of the Emergency Management Director for 2004

The Emergency Management Agency prepares for natural and manmade disasters, serving as the local branch of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) met regularly during 2004. The committee, comprising the public safety/public service department heads and school officials reviews the town's preparedness for emergencies. Wakefield has become very active in the Mystic Regional Emergency Planning Committee, which comprises officials from fifteen area communities including Wakefield, Lynnfield, Reading, North Reading, Woburn, Winchester, Melrose, Saugus, Stoneham, Malden, Medford, Everett, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop. Regional emergency management is very important, since the Office of Domestic Preparedness has indicated that they will be distributing Homeland Security Funding on a regional basis.

The Democratic National Convention in late July was a cause for concern for Emergency Managers throughout the Boston area. Many months of planning went into preparing for a multitude of emergency possibilities, especially massive traffic disruptions created by road and bridge closures in and around Boston. We are happy to report that the weeklong event went off without incident.

Wakefield continues to subscribe to the Community Alert Network, a “reverse 9-1-1” telephone system that allows town officials to immediately notify residents and businesses via telephone of emergency situations and important community/school information.

The Wakefield Auxiliary Fire Department operates under the auspices of Emergency Management. During 2004, Auxiliary Captain Russell Barr, Auxiliary Lieutenant Richard Harrington, and Auxiliary Firefighters Al Catanzaro, Lori Cole, Matthew Harrington, Melissa Howard, Michael Parr, Robert Sartori, Paul Halfelder and Tyler Wallace attended weekly training sessions and responded to emergencies as necessary.

The Auxiliary Fire Department Squad Truck is a 1971 Mack chassis with a 1956 rescue-style body, which we use primarily as our lighting/emergency power unit. This vehicle is in poor condition and in need of replacement, which we hope to accomplish in 2005.

My sincere thanks to all department heads and their supervisors for their continued cooperation and assistance in serving on the Local Emergency Planning Committee, and to the volunteer members of the Auxiliary Fire Department for their service during 2004.

Respectfully submitted,

Chief David L. Parr
Wakefield Fire Department

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