Report of the Emergency Management Director for 2012

The Emergency Management Department 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 (REPC). The Mystic REPC meets 10 times during the year and works to conduct and coordinate emergency exercises and procedures throughout the area encompassed by its members.

Wakefield subscribes to Code Red, an emergency notification telephone system that allows town officials to immediately notify residents and businesses via telephone of emergency situations and important community and school information. During 2012 no local emergency shelters were opened.

The Wakefield Auxiliary Fire Department operates under the auspices of Emergency Management. During 2012, Auxiliary Captain Richard Harrington, Auxiliary Lieutenant Robert Sartori, and Auxiliary Firefighters Kevin Boyle, Al Catanzaro, Matthew Harrington, Michael Parr, and Matthew Nichols attended weekly training sessions and responded to emergencies as necessary. Three additional members, Alessandro Colarusso, Timothy M. Gorman and John T. McCarthy were appointed to the Wakefield Auxiliary Fire Department in October of 2012. These men also volunteered their time at many civic events and activities. Their commitment to the community is commendable and worthy of recognition.

Hurricane Sandy came up the east coast of the United States and struck New England on October 29. The Town implemented its emergency plan for the storm and responded to many reports of downed trees and power lines caused by the high winds. Wakefield did not experience any severe flooding as a result of this storm. Public works crews quickly cleared blocked roads while the Municipal Gas and Light Department efficiently dealt with all power outages. There were no injuries as a result of the storm.

Hurricane Sandy once again demonstrated the value to the town in having its own municipal power company staffed with dedicated employees serving the Town of Wakefield. All town departments, particularly the Police, Fire, Health, Public Works and School Departments cooperated to make the town’s emergency plan run as smoothly as possible under the circumstances. Wakefield should be extremely proud of how its emergency management team pulled together during these emergency incidents.

A $4,500 Emergency Management Performance Grant was awarded to Wakefield in 2012. This grant allowed the town to install and program a radio console in the community room at the Public Safety Building, which serves as the Emergency Operations Center in Wakefield. This radio will be used to communicate with various state and local agencies during an emergency. A matching grant totaling another $5,600 was just awarded to Wakefield in December. Funds from this grant will purchase additional data switches to increase the Internet and phone capabilities inside the Emergency Operations Center. Additional grant awards are anticipated during 2013.

I wish to express 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 Wakefield Auxiliary Fire Department for their service during 2012.

Respectfully submitted,

Fire Chief Michael J. Sullivan
Emergency Management Director

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