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Morning Sun
  • County OKs weather radio purchase

  • Two years ago, Cherokee County used a grant to buy nearly 1,000 weather radios, then sold them to the residents of the county. The program was a wild success.

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  • Two years ago, Cherokee County used a grant to buy nearly 1,000 weather radios, then sold them to the residents of the county. The program was a wild success.
    Friday, local officials went before the Crawford County Commission to propose a similar program, just on a slightly lower scale.
    Joey Adams, county EMS administrator, said the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) had applied for a NOAA weather radio grant last year, and had received a grant in the amount of $11,000.
    The grant is a 75/25 match, but the money must be provided up front by the  county. After buying weather radios, the county would be reimbursed for 75 percent of the cost, and the remaining 25 percent could be recouped through selling the weather radios.
    Adams told the commissioners that the $11,000 could purchase about 350 weather radios. County officials would also have to provide 9-volt batteries and do the programming for the weather radios, which would take “about five minutes” for each one.
    Commissioners said they liked the idea and approved the plan, hopefully to get the radios back and sold before the spring storm season ends.
    “We’ll divide them among the fire districts,” said commissioner Carl Wood. “They’ll do the programming. When it’s all said and done, we’re not out anything.”
    Commissioners also approved the expenditure of $995 for a one-day training for officials from certain departments about the use of ID badges for disaster response.
    EMS, emergency management and police/fire each have an assigned ID card that can be read by a scanner when responding to the scene of a major disaster. Scanning helps identify how many people are on scene, how many hours they’ve worked, and which equipment is on scene and where it comes from (each piece of heavy machinery has its own card).
    The officials also spoke about getting mutual aid agreements with other neighboring counties into place, so such forms aren’t having to be put together on the scene of a disaster.
    Finally, the commissioners were approached by Sheriff Dan Peak. Peak asked that as talks progress for obtaining more storm sirens in the county, that his department be a part of the discussion.
    “There’s an interest in getting involved in the outlying areas. I’d petition to keep us included in those conversations, because someone has to activate those, and most times it falls on us,” Peak said.
    The sheriff’s department already activates sirens in McCune, Franklin and Farlington, and will soon do so with a planned storm siren on a church to the east of Girard. That siren will be deployed on the same frequency as the Franklin siren.
    “If we’re adding more to the same tone, it’s fairly simple. But if we’re adding new tones to activate sirens, it’s really something we need to be involved in,” Peak said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Wood said that Peak had nothing to worry about.
    “First, we’re trying to get the townships to consider doing this. We’ve got to crawl before we can walk. Then to get those who want to do this to get the funding,” Wood said. “Then, if we know we’re getting it, we’ll talk to you.”
     
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