The following information is from the first in a 4-part series by Hopkins County Fire Chief/Hopkins County Emergency Management Coordinator Andy Endsley, who wants the community to know that we are prepared for any and all hazards. Hopkins County as well as the City of Sulphur Springs has a Hazard Mitigation Action Plan in place and are state-certified due to training in the “all-hazards” approach to preparedness. City of Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jason Ricketson also acts as the Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Sulphur Springs, and David James is Sulphur Springs Fire Chief.
Trained teams with knowledge of local infrastructure to medical services, law enforcement, fire emergency and rescue services and other assistance agencies are necessary to keep a community safe and well-prepared. Emergency and disaster situations can come in many forms, from natural causes like weather to explosions, hazardous spills, transportation accidents and other major catastrophes. Members of these teams receive training a number of times per year to stay ready to serve. A full-scale Disaster Exercise was recently conducted, and specific disaster drills and tabletop scenarios are conducted on a regular basis to provide extra training and readiness for individuals providing services.
Endsley stated that the Hazard Mitigation Action Plan is a printed volume which the State provides to incorporated cities containing detailed instructions and action plans for community safety. There is another volume of “annexes” or chapters which are specific to Hopkins County and Sulphur Springs on handling various types of disasters. Hopkins County Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator Kristi Springfield stated that if an individual or family wants to find out more about being prepared, there are some well-prepared sites online. Try ready.gov or knowwhattodo.com.
Endsley, Springfield and other local officials will visit KSST each Friday morning during September for an 8:15 am live interview on different forms of emergency preparedness. Plan to tune in.