Delaware News

Delaware County EMA official: 'We've got it good'

County board under budget; awareness efforts often embraced


The Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is conducting its business well under budget, according to the annual report it released last week.

Revenues for the county board, which cooperates with but does not report directly to the county commissioners per Ohio Revised Code, totaled $426,699 from several sources, including local apportionment and grants.

Expenditures ran to $380,555. They included salaries and benefits ($251,625), materials and supplies ($19,681), services and charges ($22,003), and the 2012 Siren Project ($87,244).

"Much of what the EMA does would not be possible without the tremendous support we receive locally," said EMA Director Brian Galligher.

"In my discussions with other county EMAs, I realize how good we really have it in Delaware County," he said. "We come up with crazy ideas like (our) zombies (event) and it is embraced in droves. We hold three Emergency Operation Center exercises annually, where most counties are lucky to do one every three years, and we get the reply, 'When is the next one?'

"And when it comes to working as a team, I don't think anyone in Ohio can touch us."

The zombie event included a 5K run and walk and costume contests for children, adults and pets -- but the goal was to raise public awareness about emergency preparedness and to teach residents about cost-effective ways to become prepared.

The EMA erected four outdoor warning sirens in Delaware County after securing $45,000 via an Emergency Management Program Grant. County commissioners matched the remaining 50 percent of the funds necessary for construction.

Two sirens were installed at Delaware State Park, next to the campground office the south boat launch, with two more along Alum Creek, at the ODNR maintenance building and the Army Corps maintenance building.

The EMA continued its program to purchase equipment for a variety of Delaware County public-safety entities through an Ohio Homeland Security grant secured in fiscal year 2010. Items purchased last year include:

* A tactical response robot for the sheriff's office.

* Collapse rescue equipment for the Porter Kingston Fire District.

* Trench rescue equipment for the Elm Valley Fire District.

* A mass fatality response trailer for the coroner's office.

* Dive communications equipment and underwater cameras for the county dive team.

"The Delaware County Emergency Management staff has chosen a career of dedicated service to the community," said EMA board Chairman John Donahue. "Together with volunteers and emergency service professionals, they continue to work and coordinate to ensure disasters have minimal impact upon our communities."