Weathersfield Twp. tests emergency plan

An emergency plan was set up for the schools after the Columbine shootings.
MINERAL RIDGE -- An emergency management plan approved last month by Weathersfield Township trustees has already been tested in part during various types of township emergencies.
The plan, which was developed by Police Chief Joseph Consiglio and Fire Chief Randy Pugh, is like "a living, breathing animal," township Administrator Dave Pugh said.
"It is practically imperative we have some kind of document on how we will handle an emergency if we have one," Dave Pugh said. Pugh explained that because every situation is different, the plan will be used as a tool that is changeable based on an evaluation of each emergency.
Overview of methods
The document gives an overview of methods to reduce or eliminate hazards, or lessen the consequences of unavoidable hazards, preparedness, response and recovery.
The manual is aimed at township elected officials, staff and leaders involved in emergency management, department and agency heads and their senior staff members, leaders of local volunteer organizations that support emergency operations, and others who may participate.
The plan will adapt to "any type of disaster," Pugh said.
Pugh said police department's resource officers first set up an emergency plan for the local schools during the 2000-01 school year.
The plan was prompted by the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.
The township administrator said the school response plan is: "almost a stand-alone plan," with school maps and layouts, etc. developed for response to any such similar school incident.
Emergency weather plan
The township also has used the basics of the emergency management plan to respond to the summer rainstorms that hit the area and the township in 2003 causing serious flooding in many parts of Weathersfield. The flooding caused a portion of state Route 46 to close, and the Park Avenue Fire Station was shut down once equipment was removed.
All township departments responded. Units reported back to the fire chief, who then relayed information to the police department so officers could set up and change road blocks where flooding occurred.
Road crews worked to alleviate flooding in residential areas and also helped local residents by pumping water out of basements. Police and other safety forces also rescued drivers who risked passing through high waters on roadways.
Pugh noted the township is already a part of the Trumbull County emergency system and its management plan and can turn to the state if more help is needed.

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