Blair aims to keep crews trained

Contracts will ensure emergency responders are prepared for disasters

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County commissioners are preparing to sign two contracts aimed at keeping emergency response crews trained for disasters like last week’s train accident in Hyndman, Bedford County.

Blair County Director of Public Safety Mark Taylor advised commissioners Tuesday that the county should again sign a contract with MCM Consulting Group for development and evaluation of a tabletop exercise based on a transportation accident involving a railway or highway hazardous materials incident.

“Hyndman is not unique with a railroad running through town,” Commissioner Ted Beam Jr. said in consideration of Taylor’s request. “The better prepared we are, the better we’ll be ready to act.”

Both Beam and Commissioner Terry Tomassetti offered their support for the proposed tabletop training procedure that the county’s Department of Emergency Services arranges periodically based on the potential for disaster.

Taylor said the cost of the contract with MCM Consulting Group is set for a maximum of $8,500, with 80 percent to be paid by the county’s 2016-17 Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant and the remaining 20 percent covered by the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

In addition, Taylor advised the commissioners that his department also wants to work with a consulting company, Innovative Technologies Inc., on efforts to audit, verify and prepare supportive documents for the county’s Emergency Operations Plan, which includes railway incidents.

The cost of up to $9,800, Taylor said, can again be covered with 80 percent paid by the county’s Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant and 20 percent by the LEPC.

Taylor said that Innovative Technologies Inc. has handled other tasks for the department.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.