Topics for the remaining 2016 meetings were discussed at last week’s Mountain Emergency Services Committee session.
Kathleen Henderson, the Riverside County emergency services coordinator for the mountain, recommended several subjects familiar to local emergency officials.
The March agenda will discuss “vector control” or mosquito habitat. The past two years have seen headlines about infectious diseases transmitted through mosquito bites, such as West Nile virus and, most recently, Zika.
“Once El Niño passes, people will want to know about mosquito control and what to do about standing water,” Henderson said.
Other popular topics to be addressed at future MEMSCOMM meetings include fire safety in June and the Goldspotted oakborer and the bark beetle in August.
Henderson also recommended a new subject to Hill emergency responders — an active-shooter incident. Henderson said she would invite law-enforcement agencies to describe various scenarios and how to respond.
One member suggested she invite Bill Tell, president of the Mile High Radio Club. They were interested in discussing the status of the local radio network and communications capability on the Hill in case of a disaster.
Henderson also will try to bring Kim Saruwatari, director of the county’s new Emergency Management Department, to meet local MEMSCOMM members. There also is some preliminary discussion about changing the boundaries of the EMD districts to align more closely with the boundaries of the five supervisor districts.
A contract for the county’s new early warning notification system will likely be awarded later this spring, according to Henderson. The request for proposal was released on Sept. 28, 2015.
The county is seeking a unified countywide mass notification system. The system is expected to dispatch at least 250,000 notifications within the first 60 minutes. These messages will be sent as voice calls to landline and cellular phones, emails, and text messages or push notifications to mobile devices, including applications (apps). Multiple languages are needed.
Henderson also announced that the county is planning to offer another Community Emergency Response Team class in April at the Nature Center.