Jefferson County Emergency Management Director Rebecca Squires met with the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners Jan. 22 to inform them of her goals this year.
One of Squires’ top priorities for the year is to update the civil defense ordinance that governs what she does and how the county approaches emergency management.
“It was adopted in 1975 and is very Cold War-esque in its layouts and presentations,” she said
Squires said she has already gone through the ordinance and has made a couple revisions that were sent to County Attorney Weston Davis for review. She said she is hoping to have a draft ready to present to the commissioners for input in early March and potential adoption later that month following a public hearing.
This year Squires said she would also like to have a functional exercise where they take the policy group for the emergency operations and the emergency operations center and work through how an emergency would play out.
“Do our plans and policies work for what would happen in real life,” she said.
She is tentatively planning the exercise for late February.
Like the civil defense ordinance, Squires said she would also like to update the emergency operations plan by November or December.
Lastly she indicated that she would like to be “deployed” at least once a year with the Incident Management Team.
“If I could have just one deployment every year, I would be just so tickled,” she said. “I learned so much.”
In other discussion, Squires presented the commissioners with each one of her job descriptions—emergency management, human resources, public information officer—and pointed out a couple changes that need to take place to align with the updated step and grade wage chart.
She also indicated that in each one of her job descriptions, responsibilities are outlined that she currently does not cover.
“In recent months I have been held back,” Squires said.
She said the only two things that she currently does as a public information officer is adding and modifying items on the county’s website.
Commissioner Scott Hancock said as a board they need to discuss each of the job descriptions and decide which they would like Squires to do.
“We have to realize as commissioners, is we’re not here every day and there are things that happen when we’re not here that we need to be appraised of and maybe take action,” he said.