Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

October 13, 2020
Tooele County Emergency Services Department looking to perfect their plans

Consulting group will help update plans with current information from plan implementations 

The Tooele County Emergency Services Department wants to hire a consultant to perfect their plans for emergencies.

The department currently has three different emergency plans: the comprehensive emergency management plan, the pandemic flu plan, and the continuity of operations plan, according to  Bucky Whitehouse, emergency services director.

The comprehensive emergency management plan covers floods, earthquakes, extreme weather, and drought, according to Whitehouse.

“Since 2019, we have seen 13 large scale emergencies in the county,” he said. “We have had floods and every year we have fires and extreme weather events. This includes everything from heavy snow to extreme winds and earthquakes. This summer we had a water emergency. We may also be prepping for a drought now.”

The county is currently utilizing the pandemic flu plan.

When this plan is implemented, the emergency services department collects information to learn how to better protect residents during a pandemic.

“We are currently responding to the pandemic,” Whitehouse said. “We anticipate that we will be responding until March or even May of next year.”

The continuity of operations plan is put into place when business as usual cannot be conducted.

“We have had to do a drive through treasurer’s office during the pandemic and we are planning for a drive through election this year,” said Whitehouse.

The continuity of operations plan also contains information as to what officials and businesses can do better if the plan ever has to be implemented again.

Whitehouse talked about the proposal to hire a consultant to help update the emergency plans during the County Commission meeting on Oct. 6.

“The proposal is to hire a consultant group who has experience in assisting in helping make updates to these types of plans,” said Whitehouse. “They will need to have knowledge of emergency plans and they have to have staffing large enough that they can devote to making needed updates.”

Whitehouse said that the emergency services department is looking to hire a group of four to six individuals.

After conducting a statewide and regional search, the department found a company called Haggerty Consulting, a nation-wide company established in 2001.

The company has assisted with large-scale recovery projects in 30 states, including Utah.

Whitehouse said that the company may be just right to help with the county’s emergency plan.

 

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