In case of emergency ...

Randy Rowe


If there is a major emergency in one of Region I’s six counties, it is likely that Randy Rowe will be there.
Rowe is the director of the Laclede County Office of Emergency Management.
“The Office of Emergency Management came to life after 9-11. There were a lot of problems found during and after 9-11 on the after action reviews. One of the main problems was communication between fire and law enforcement and EMS. It basically was nonexistent. Everyone had their own channels. Everyone had their own way of doing things during 9-11,” Rowe said.
According to Rowe, President George W. Bush decided there needed to be a liaison between the three groups in the case of an emergency.
“Our primary job is to prep and train and make sure everyone else preps and trains and to try to coordinate all agencies to be NIMS-compliant,” Rowe said.
NIMS is an acronym for National Incident Management System. According to Rowe, if one of the three groups wants to be eligible for a federal grant, the majority of their employees must be NIMS-compliant to qualify for the grant beginning January 1, 2018.
Police, fire and EMS employees have a year after their hire date to become NIMS-compliant by taking basic courses that pertain to that agency.
“We are the agency that kind of governs that and makes sure they understand what their obligations are and sets up the NIMS training if they can’t get it through any other source,” Rowe said.
Rowe said most of the coursework is online and consists of three-to-five-day courses. He has taken most of them himself, and some of his certificates hang on his wall while more are filed in a drawer.

For the complete article, see Tuesday's print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.


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