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Partnership key to keeping residents safe
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SPRINGFIELD -- Efingham Emergency Management Agency (EEMA) has been buffeted on all sides recently.
“It’s definitely been an active two and half years,” EEMA Director Clint Hodges said.
EEMA is a combination of local, state and federal government agencies working together in partnership with local volunteers and businesses to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from all hazards that affect a jurisdiction.
“In the EEMA field, we use a lot of other partners and other agencies,” said Hodges, also the lead of Effingham County Fire & Rescue. “It’s not me doing it. We rely on other departments — E-911, the sheriff’s office, fire, EMS — so there is more of a coordination aspect than it is a standalone entity.
“Everybody in this county works together amazingly, and not just county agencies. The cities and the county work together.”
Hodges said area emergency agencies also mesh well outside the county’s borders. That was displayed during the recent C-130 crash on Hwy 21 in Port Wentworth.
“Within moments after the plane crash, we reached out to Chatham County and they told us what they needed,” Hodges said. “We responded with our big foam truck as well as three tankers to the actual scene itself. Rincon (Fire Department) sent an engine to cover the north side of Port Wentworth and, then, after it had cleared, we sent one of our tankers over to Pooler.
“There is always incredible communication and teamwork.”
Effingham County Rescue & Fire also sent an engine to Savannah International Airport after the crash.
“That was a big one,” Hodges said. “That actually allowed them — along with our engine, one of Savannah’s and a foam truck from Fort Stewart, I believe — to reopen.”
All public safety agencies in Georgia are bound by a mutual aid agreement.
“With that being said, we train very regularly with all our partners — Chatham, Screven and Bryan (counties). We are all on a first-name basis,” Hodges said. “If they need something, they know they can call. If I have something we call them.
“As soon as you call, somebody is going to be on the road.”
See the May 23 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.