Emergency Management

Introduction


The City of Westfield Emergency Management Agency is primarily staffed with volunteers and is prepared to respond to any major emergency. The Agency has its Emergency Operations Center
located at 179 Apremont Way and is co-located with the Westfield Technology Center. The Operation Center is equipped to provide Emergency Management support to the City. The Center
is equipped with radio equipment which includes Police and Fire Department radios, State radios, and Ham radios (RACES). The Westfield Emergency Management Agency works directly with the
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Emergency Management Agencies from surrounding communities as well as the City’s Police and Fire Departments to be prepared to respond. The facility is equipped with an auxiliary generator should commercial power be lost.

Mission Statement


To ensure the safety of the residents of the city during possible emergency situations, and to assist
in mitigating risks to the City. Some of the hazards we are concerned with are:

  • Natural Hazards; Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, winter storms and earthquakes.
  • Other Hazards; civil disorder, hazardous materials accidents, and major transportation accidents.

Purpose


To coordinate all city departments, state and federal assistance should a major hazard occur. All city departments participate in the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEM). The plan is comprehensive as it encompasses our emergency response coupled with the mitigation and recovery from any possible scenario.

Structure


The Director of the Westfield Emergency Management Agency has structured the Agency in a
manner to better train, and prepare for Emergency Response. Each area has a volunteer officer
responsible for duties assigned to him or her.

Director/ Deputy Director – Responsible for overall activity within the Agency.
Operations – Responsible for Agency Operations.
Communications – Responsible for the Communications of the Agency.
Logistics – Responsible for movement of staff, setup, and meals if field setup or a sustained 
operation is required.
Security – Responsible for security of the Agency and the staff.
Plans – Responsible for Emergency Response Plans.
Training – Responsible for training of staff and establishing scenarios for preparing the team.
Medical Liaison – Liaison to Red Cross, Hospitals and Department of Public Health
Finance and Administration – Provides office management for the Agency. 

Volunteer Staff


The Westfield Emergency Management Agency is fortunate to have an excellent staff of volunteers. These volunteers fill a variety of roles within the agency.

Deputy Director/Operations Officer – Melissa Blain
Communications Officer – Peter Cowles
Security and Logistics Officer – Shannon Chiba
Plans and Training Officer – Vacant
Medical Liaison – Edward Mello
Finance and Administrative Officer – Vacant
Radio Operators – Charles Smith and Peter Cowles
Training and Logistics Assistant – Vacant
Hazardous Material Officer – Vacant
Community Liaison Officer – Vacant
Public Affairs Officer – Vacant (Currently being filled by Peter Cowles)

Committee Information


This Westfield Emergency Management Agency participates on several committees concerning
Emergency Response and Preparation throughout the City.

Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) – This committee consists of representatives of
several departments, American Red Cross, Ambulance services, Fire Department, Police
Department, Public Health Department, Air National Guard, Army National Guard, Hospitals,
Nursing Homes, major businesses and others concerned with the safety of the city and its residents. The LEPC meets on the first Wednesday of each month.

General Information


For a City to be prepared for an Emergency situation, it requires cooperation and support from its
citizens and businesses. You can assist us by taking mitigation steps around your home or
business, and being prepared by having water, food, batteries. Flashlights and first aide kits
available. As a business owner in town, you should have plans to protect your business and your
employees, this should include but is not limited to where and how to evacuate, determining in
advance what the risks may be to your business and how you can protect against these risks. Ask
questions like, what would I need to continue to operate if my business was damaged? Would I
know who owes my business money or who my key customers are?

The Agency will be providing a variety of emergency education bulletins out to city residents and
businesses during the coming months. Please review these tips and see if you can improve the
readiness of where you live or work. The Agency will be hosting seminars in September to provide
residents with an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about emergency preparedness.

The City has an automated Emergency Response System. This system allows the City to notify
residents and businesses quicker in the event of an emergency. For more details on this system go
to Emergency Notifications.

Interested in Being a Volunteer


The Westfield Emergency Management Agency has a number of volunteers which are necessary to
make the agency successful. The agency has a variety of roles which can be filled and if you are
interested in volunteering, please contact the Director via phone or email. Volunteers meet at
least twice monthly on the first and third Tuesday, and are actively involved in different aspects of
the agency. Staff volunteers should be a minimum of 18 years old while Volunteer Officers should
be a minimum of 21 years old. The Agency provides training to all volunteers.
We have organized a CERT Team, (Community Emergency Response Team) which can provide
assistance to the Police Dept as well as the Fire Dept and assist with community events to insure
public safety. You will train over a 20 hour course which will prepare you for being able to respond
to emergencies.

The Agency has partnered with both the Civil Air Patrol and the Police Explorers to broaden the
ability to support an Emergency situation. With these young volunteers and the additional
capability, the agency has more security for controlling access and personnel which can be called
out through MEMA for search and rescue. If you are interested in more information concerning
these organizations, please contact the Director and he can assist.