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9/14/2017 Local aid workers assist in Florida’s recovery
On Saturday, Sept. 9, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) deployed 24 emergency management professionals from across the state to Florida. The 24 individuals – including Custer County professionals -- will break into four teams to provide emergency operations center (EOC) support to counties throughout the state of Florida as part of an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request for Hurricane Irma. According to Meredith Nichols, Deputy Emergency Manager for Custer County, members of the group include Custer County Office of Emergency Management Director Cindy Howard, former director Christe Coleman of Pueblo, and Larissa Oringdulph from the South Region. After bouncing from Tallahassee to Orlando to Miami, several members of the team, including Howard, are now in Key West working on recovery efforts there. The teams will be led by six field services staff from the Colorado DHSEM. The remaining 17 members represent emergency management and public safety agencies from across the state. Those agencies include: • Lake County Office of Emergency Management • City of Brighton Office Emergency Management • Custer County Office of Emergency Management • Clifton Fire Protection District • Mesa County Public Health • Bent County Office of Emergency Management • UC Health • Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office • Aurora Police Department • Pritchett Fire • Littleton Fire Rescue • Gunnison County Office of Emergency Management • Parker Police Department • Grand Junction Fire • Pitkin County • City of Fort Collins • San Juan Public Health. The team received their final assignments after they arrived in Tallahassee, Florida. They will support Florida for the next 14 days. EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact is an all hazards/all disciplines mutual aid compact that serves as the cornerstone of the nation's mutual aid system. EMAC is the first national disaster–relief compact since the Civil Defense and Disaster Compact of 1950 to be ratified by the U.S. Congress. Since ratification and signing into law in 1996, 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted legislation to become EMAC members. In addition to the EOC support teams, Colorado also sent a 23 member incident management team (IMT) to support law enforcement resources for Hurricane Irma. The IMT is working from Moody Air Force Base in Georgia on a 14-day deployment. DHSEM has also deployed a logistics section chief to the FEMA National Resource Coordination Center in Washington D.C. as an EMAC liaison and a field services staff to serve as logistics staff in Puerto Rico on a National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) resource request.