With an area covering 396 square miles and a population of approximately 42,500 people, the well being of all residents in Orleans County is the driving force for the Orleans County Emergency Management Office, EMO, through planning, training, response, mitigation and recovery. In a disaster, the emergency manager serves as the key representative and advisor to the County Chief Administrative Officer. In smaller counties, such as Orleans, emergency management duties are assigned to coordinators who combine the functions with other responsibilities such as Fire and Emergency Medical Service Coordinator.
The Orleans County EMO continues to prepare, plan, train, coordinate, respond, recover and rebuild from all hazard incidents, natural or manmade, that may occur within the jurisdiction. This office performs these tasks by interfacing with all first response, local, State and Federal agencies, as well as, coordination of the recovery sections of these agencies to minimize the effects of emergencies on the population and infrastructure of Orleans County.
Full time: Director, Secretary to Director
Part time: Deputy Coordinators (3), Fire Investigators (3), Radio Manager (1)
Volunteers: Auxiliary Police (11); CISM (7); RACES (20); State Fire Instructors (NYS part time employees) (5);
Statutory Boards (volunteers): Fire Advisory Board (24); EMS Council (20).
Director Emergency Management:
The Orleans County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan is reviewed and updated annually to provide the framework for response to large disaster incidents that may occur. This document is the basis for first response agencies to interface with State and Federal resources if required.
Fire training provided by the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control is administered by the EMO to provide fire personnel basic and advanced courses to better prepare them to respond to both day to day and large incidents. The Fire Mutual Aid Plan is annually reviewed and updated providing the framework for responding agencies to operate with each other when required. The Fire Coordinator also is the Regional Fire Administrator tasked with marshalling fire resources to respond outside of Orleans County when requested under the NYS Fire Mobilization Plan.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) training is provided locally by two course sponsor agencies, coordinated by EMO, which allows personnel to enroll in entry level and advanced courses as well as acquire required refresher training to maintain certification. The EMS Mutual Aid Plan is annually reviewed and updated providing the framework for responding agencies to operate with each other when required.
Deputy Fire Coordinators:
Three part time Deputy Fire Coordinators are used to provide rapid assistance to local fire agencies to assist in coordinating various resources that may be required. They have the authority to act in place of the County Fire Coordinator in his absence and act as liaison between their respective fire agencies and the County.
EMO has responsibility to update and maintain the 800MHz radio system that is utilized by all agencies in Orleans County for voice communications. The system is comprised of the backbone infrastructure and 1100 end user radios. The system is used for all day to day operations from fire, law enforcement, EMS to local highway departments.
Cause and Origin Fire Investigation
Cause and origin determination is performed for nearly every fire that occurs in Orleans County by three (3) part time fire investigators. These staff members are all certified to level II by NYS. The members of this team work with law enforcement in the event of suspicious fires.
NIMS Point of Contact:
EMO works to ensure all agencies in Orleans County comply with Presidential Directive #5. This is required for Federal grant compliance. We continue to distribute information to agencies, conduct training as required and report results annually to the NYS NIMS Coordinator.
Critical Stress Incident Management, Debriefing/Peer Counseling
Maintained and expanded membership to the CSIM team which provides defusing, debriefing and peer counseling to members of the first response community that have been involved in calls that cause them anguish. Several times a year these first responders are involved in incidents that can sometimes be overwhelming to their well being. The provided counseling provides an outlet to keep trained personnel involved in their field of work as well as directing them to fully trained mental health personnel if the need arises.
Ham radio, RACES/ARIES:
This group is supported to ensure additional communication capabilities are available during emergency situations. This group maintains their proficiency through monthly meetings and training as well as several exercises that are conducted to ensure the availability of communication both intra and inter county.
This group provides for additional trained law enforcement personnel during emergency situations. This group maintains proficiency through monthly meetings and training. They willingly supply volunteer manpower for festivals and functions throughout the County where a law enforcement presence leads to ensuring the safety of attendees to these venues. Because of the specialized training required members participate in a basic training course and receive annual specialized training.
Fire Advisory Board:
This is a statutory board made up of representatives of the fire service in Orleans County that makes recommendations to the Legislature on improving the training and response to fire related issues.
This is a statutory board made up of representatives of the Emergency Medical Service in Orleans County that makes recommendations to the Legislature on improving the training and response to EMS related issues.
800MHz Radio System:
The EOC is also activated as the back-up communications center for the 800 megahertz radio system and E-911 system should the main dispatch center fail/malfunction. A part-time Radio System Manager is available through the EOC to assist with any radio problems and for training / operational procedures. Routine maintenance of the trunked radio system is handled by the Radio System Manager to ensure that the system remains operational. Minor problems occur with the system several times per year that requires the RSM to restart the system and verify full capability.
Agreement was reached in late 2012 with Sprint/Nextel for FCC mandated rebanding of the system. Once that agreement was reached an agreement with Harris Corporation was approved to reband the existing infrastructure as well as an upgrade to P25 digital and a system expansion with three additional towers to improve signal coverage both outbound and inbound. This work is expected to be complete by April 2014.
Interface with National Weather Service:
Continue to maintain a working relationship with the NWS, Buffalo office, to secure weekly weather projections as well as spot forecasts during severe weather events. The information supplied by NWS is vital in evaluating weather related risks for Orleans
Interface with American Red Cross:
ARC is the lead agency for human sheltering during time of disaster. The regional chapter maintains shelter agreements at various locations in Orleans County and at the request of the EMO Director will open shelters to provide food and lodging for displaced citizens.
H. Dale Banker
14064 County House Road
Albion, New York 14411
Phone: (585) 589-4414
Fax: (585) 589-7671