Report of the Emergency Management Director for 2005

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).

Wakefield continues as an active member of the 15 community Mystic Regional Emergency Planning Committee. Regional emergency management continues to be very important, since the Office of Domestic Preparedness has indicated that they will be distributing future Homeland Security Funding on a regional basis.

The Mystic REPC hosted a tabletop emergency exercise in May in which Wakefield was an active participant, and we also participated in a Board of Health consortium tabletop exercise held in Wakefield in June.

During 2005, Wakefield received a $12,000 federal grant to install a propane gas-fired back-up emergency generator at the Harts Hill water tank. This is our highest point in town and as such houses the main radio transmitters for fire, police, emergency management and the municipal gas & light departments. We received a large stockpile of emergency cots and blankets that have been placed at the Wakefield High School for emergency shelter purposes. And, through the combined efforts of Emergency Management and the Department of Public Works, Wakefield successfully applied for and received nearly $150,000 of federal disaster reimbursement for snow removal costs incurred during the Blizzard of January 22-23, 2005.

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 2005, Auxiliary Captain Richard Harrington, Auxiliary Lieutenant Robert Sartori, and Auxiliary Firefighters Al Catanzaro, Matthew Harrington, Michael Parr, and Tyler Wallace attended weekly training sessions and responded to emergencies as necessary. Auxiliary Captain Russell Barr retired during 2005. We thank “Rusty” for his 34 years of dedicated and volunteer service to the town.

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 2005.

Respectfully submitted,

Chief David L. Parr
Wakefield Fire Department

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