Roseth is emergency manager

With the emergence of Homeland Security, there is now a position entitled the Haakon County Emergency Manager. Lola Roseth began the job’s responsibilities on October 5, 2005.

The job description may be compact, but the methods of fulfilling the many job facets are always evolving. Haakon County Emergency Management is charged with the overall mission of protecting its citizens and their property from the effects of natural and man-made disasters. To fulfill this mission, Haakon County recognizes and utilizes the four phases of emergency management.

•Preparedness – involves planning, training, and exercising individuals and groups on how to respond to an emergency.

•Response – coordinating activities and resources as a given emergency is evolving.

•Recovery – assisting the local jurisdictions to return to a normal lifestyle.

•Mitigation – creating ways to reduce or eliminate future loss if the same event should occur again.

A few examples of man-made disasters could be a hazardous material spill, civil disturbance at a large event or an act of terrorism. Examples of natural disasters would include such things as tornadoes, blizzards, drought, and wildland fire.

Through Homeland Security’s Office of Domestic Preparedness, and following certain guidelines, Haakon County receives specified grant money. One aspect of the EM's job is to make sure the county meets the grant requirements, then helps different entities to obtain these grants. If the money is not utilized, it is returned to FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency).

Local agencies awarded grant money in 2005 were the Philip Volunteer Fire Department, Midland Volunteer Fire Department, Midland Ambulance Service, Philip Ambulance Service, Milesville Volunteer Fire Department, Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Midwest Cooperatives and the Haakon schools.

There are many aspects of the emergency management position. Future articles will illustrate and explain varying issues of emergency management and the different organizations involved.