The South Mississippi Regional Response Team was formed in 2002 to prepare the six counties it encompasses with the tools and training to manage emergencies ranging from chemical, biological, radiological, and explosive situations to natural disasters.
To help them with that mission, the team recently took delivery of an E-ONE rescue, hazmat command vehicle, sold by Sunbelt Fire, Fairhope, Ala.
“This rescue will allow us to interface with different agencies throughout the nation involved in a large scale disaster and safely address any hazards we are presented,” said SMRRT team leader Chief Pat Sullivan.
Federal Homeland Security funds were allocated to Mississippi then filtered to the regions to use at their own discretion. Representatives from the six counties in the southern region then formed SMRRT to make certain the funds were properly spent.
“This rescue vehicle would not have been possible without the Homeland Security funding,” Sullivan said. “I feel we have been good stewards of the grant money because we know that public money is scarce and we realize how important it is to be prepared.”
Comprised of representatives from fire, police and public works departments, as well as EMS providers and emergency management personnel, the team customized its new E-ONE apparatus to meet its specific needs and keep first responders safe.
“We want to give the responders in the field the best equipment so they can do their job, protect the public and come home safely,” Sullivan said. “You cannot do that without first rate, top-of-the-line equipment.”
Originally, SMRRT purchased the rescue to serve as a response, communication, command and control center. Following Hurricane Katrina they discovered other valuable purposes for the apparatus.
“The total communication failure we experienced during Hurricane Katrina was indescribable,” Sullivan said. “Having the tools to address catastrophic situations like that, whether man-made or natural, is invaluable.”
The rescue includes features such as an on-site weather station, video monitoring, wireless internet and satellite capabilities.
For information call 352-237-1122 or go to www.e-one.com.