Beth Rumsey, Staff Writer
At anytime day or night, during severe weather
or accidents with spills harmful to the environment, the office
of the emergency management agency will be called to assist
those in need. I enjoy doing all I can to help people,
said Ripley County EMA Director Wayne Peace.
According to Peace, the EMA works with the towns and local authorities
during incidents, coordinating resources within the state. For
example, when a car accident or an overturned semi spills materials
that can contaminate the surrounding ground, the EMA office
will call in IDEM for assessment and help with cleanup.
As director, Peace spends a lot of time applying for grants
beneficial to the county and towns. Recent grants received include
funds for the 800mghz radios; a tower in Batesville for these
radios; and water rescue equipment for the Friendship Volunteer
Grants have also reimbursed overtime wages and materials at
the county garage. Past winter storms have had the county road
crews working long hours to clear and treat the roads to ensure
the safety of the residents of Ripley County.
I get all the grants I can, said Peace. Last Friday,
March 27 FEMA met with members of the Ripley County Highway
Garage, Southeastern Indiana REMC, and other local authorities
to fill out applications to reimburse resources used during
the January ice storm. According to Peace, the federal government
knows that the county and the towns cannot survive without help.
Some of the towns were reluctant at first, said
Peace. But, this is a good program for the towns affected
by severe weather.
There have been several changes in the EMA office during the
past years. According to Peace, the biggest change is in the
local district, with more information and resource sharing with
The Ripley County EMA offers weather spotter classes for the
public in the spring. National Incident Management (NIM) training
is offered for local agencies in preparation for emergencies.
According to Peace, employees of the fire departments, sheriffs
department, local police departments as well as some employees
of the highway garage have been through this type of training,
which in turn, generates federal dollars.
The RCEMA can be reached by calling 812-689-0505. Since it is
a part-time office, Peace advises leaving a message and he or
someone from his office will get back to you as soon as possible.
Peace recommends calling the Ripley County Sheriffs Department
at 812-689-5555 during an emergency. The dispatch center will
then contact the RCEMA. More information on the RCEMA can be
found on the web at www.rcema.com.