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Report of the Emergency Management Director for 2006

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 16 community Mystic Regional Emergency Planning Committee. Regional emergency management continues to be very important, since the Office of Domestic Preparedness has indicated that they prefer to distribute future Homeland Security Funding on a regional basis. The Mystic REPC achieved a significant goal during 2006 by being officially certified by the state emergency response commission (SERC).

Wakefield, as part of the Mystic Regional Emergency Planning Committee, was an active participant in a large and successful Tabletop Exercise conducted on October 25th in North Reading.

The “Mothers Day Floods” of May 2006 resulted in Essex County and much of Middlesex County being declared federal and state disaster areas. This declaration allowed the municipalities as well as residents to apply for disaster assistance, and many local residents did apply and receive federal aid. The Town of Wakefield, through Emergency Management, received $ 176,000 for damage to town buildings and for the emergency response to the flooding made by the Fire, Police, Emergency Management, DPW, and the MGLD.

The federal government has mandated that all personnel that may respond to or participate in mitigation of an emergency incident receive training in the National Incident Management System (NIMS). During 2006, Wakefield Firefighters, Police Officers, DPW, Gas & Light Dept. and School supervisors participated in and completed the NIMS 700, ICS 100 and ICS 200 Training. Further ICS training will be conducted in 2007 to insure that Wakefield meets / exceeds the Federal regulations.

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.

Wakefield’s emergency shelters (Wakefield High School, Galvin Middle School and the Northeast Metro Vocational Technical School) were inspected and certified by Red Cross officials during 2006.

The Wakefield Auxiliary Fire Department operates under the auspices of Emergency Management. During 2006, Auxiliary Captain Richard Harrington, Auxiliary Lieutenant Robert Sartori, and Auxiliary Firefighters Al Catanzaro, Matthew Harrington, Michael Parr, and Kevin Boyle attended weekly training sessions and responded to emergencies as necessary. The Auxiliary Firefighters responded with their lighting unit to the scene of a tremendous explosion and fire that ravaged a Danvers chemical plant and adjoining neighborhood on November 22nd.

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 2006.

Respectfully submitted,

Chief David L. Parr
Wakefield Fire Department

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