Report of the Emergency Management Director for 2014

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

Wakefield continues to be an active member of the 19-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 information. During 2014 no local emergency shelters were opened.

The Wakefield Auxiliary Fire Department operates under the auspices of Emergency Management. During 2014, Auxiliary Captain Richard Harrington, Auxiliary Lieutenant Robert Sartori, and Auxiliary Firefighters Kevin Boyle, Al Catanzaro, Matthew Harrington, Michael Parr, Matthew Nichols, Alessandro Colarusso, Timothy M. Gorman and John T. McCarthy attended weekly training sessions and responded to emergencies as necessary. These men also volunteered their time at many civic events and activities. Their commitment to the community is commendable and worthy of recognition. Sadly, the role and mission of this group has diminished to the point over the last several years that they have decided to disband effective January 1, 2015. I am personally grateful to each member of the Auxiliary for their hard work and dedication to the town during its long and distinguished existence.

Hurricane Arthur struck the Massachusetts area on July 4, forcing the cancellation of all the town's Fourth of July festivities. The storm caused relatively few problems and, in fact, became overshadowed by a serious thunderstorm that moved through the area the previous night. Arthur brought gale force winds but not much rain with it. Governor Deval Patrick declared a State of Emergency throughout the Commonwealth shortly before the storm arrived. The Town implemented its emergency plan for the storm and employees from the Fire, Police, DPW, Light and School Departments worked closely together to help ensure the safety of Wakefield’s citizens. There were very few power outages during the storm. There was no reported damage to any public facility and no one was injured. Hurricane Arthur 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 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 this storm.

An Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) for $4,350 was awarded to Wakefield in August of 2013. This EMPG grant was utilized during 2014 to assist in the replacement of security cameras both inside and around the perimeter of the Public Safety Building. An additional EMPG grant was awarded in November totaling more than $9,000 for the replacement of a radio comparator at the Public Safety Building. Both EMPG grants require a 100% local funding match that will be funded via a combination of Capital Outlay requests and money from the town's Emergency Management Budget for Fiscal Year 2016.

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 2014.

Respectfully submitted,

Fire Chief Michael J. Sullivan
Emergency Management Director

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