Emergency Management Director Glenn Joslyn and consultant Jeffrey Trask have organized and completed training which was run by a federally certified CERT instructor. 25 CERT members from the three communities took part in the two day training which occurred over the course of two weeks.
Two training classes were held for members of the Community Emergency Response Teams from the cities of Springfield, West Springfield, and Chicopee in an effort to train and build mutual aid preparedness plans.
This training builds upon the already strong foundation the Chicopee Emergency Management Department has established over the last few years.
"Since 2014 the department is following the ordinances," said Emergency Management Director Glenn Joslyn. "The ordinances and our preparedness level is where it should be. We've made incredible progress."
The Emergency Management Department ordinance outlines 27 specific tasks required by the department. It was adopted in the early 2000's, written by then Emergency Management Director Jeffrey Trask who is now a consultant for the Mayor on Emergency Management issues. "We are meeting or exceeding all points of the ordinance," said Trask. "Chicopee's program is now the best it has ever been."
As part of this resurgence, Chicopee's Local Emergency Planning Committee LEPC has again become active. The committee, which is comprised of City officials and private sector representatives, meets regularly to discuss emergency preparedness.
The Emergency Management Advisory Committee is again active, a five member City board consisting of the Fire and Police Chiefs, Emergency Management Director, and two community volunteers. It is tasked with advising the Mayor on emergency management issues.
Chicopee now has its own full-fledged CERT team comprised of 35 volunteers. They are on call to assist in times of emergency and volunteer at City events.
"Our CERT team is excellent," said Joslyn. "They are trained and ready to go, always willing to help out where needed. Over the last few years we’ve volunteered at the City’s fireworks and block party, among other events."
Overall the department has brought in over $20,000 dollars in grants and has become a leader in the area for emergency management issues.
"We spend less on our Emergency Management Director's position than in years past through hiring a part time Director and a consultant," said Mayor Richard Kos. "Now we are more effective and better prepared at more than half the cost."
In addition Director Joslyn recently returned from working with the American Red Cross assisting the cleanup in northern Louisiana which had seen widespread flooding. He met with the Emergency Managers from Caldwell, Lincoln, and Ouachita parishes to survey the scene and provide damage assessment. He also coordinated assistance for those in need through the Red Cross and FEMA.
“It was a great learning experience,” said Joslyn. “We hope nothing like this ever happens in Chicopee but if it does this experience will help our department and me to better respond.”
For those interested in becoming involved in Chicopee's Emergency Management programs, contact Emergency Management Director Glenn Joslyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-594-1698.