Emergency Management Host To Local Mayors and Town ClerksRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 12 2021 8:33 PM
HOUSTON COUNTY: Today Dothan-Houston County Emergency Management Director Chris Judah was host to the Mayors and City Clerks across Houston County.
Houston County has 587 square miles. The county is made up of the City of Dothan which is 89 square miles, the Town of Kinsey, Town of Webb, Town of Columbia, Town of Gordon, City of Ashford, City of Cowarts, Town of Avon, Town of Cottonwood, Town of Madrid, Town of Rehobeth, and Town of Taylor.
Across the 587 square miles of Houston County, law enforcement is the Houston County Sheriff Department, Dothan Police Department, Taylor Police Department, Cottonwood Police Department, Ashford Police Department, Gordon Police Department, Columbia Police Department, Webb Police Department, Kinsey Police Department and ALEA - Troopers along with Game and Fish.
Across the 587 square miles of Houston County, you have one full time paid fire department. Dothan Fire Department, under the command of Fire Chief Larry Williams, has a $ 14 million dollar budget, 175 employees, nine fire stations, two Battalion Chief's. And he needs more.
Across the 587 square miles of Houston County, you have 17 volunteer fire departments, 5 volunteer EMS transport ambulance, a private ambulance service - Pilcher Ambulance and Headland EMS who services the Kinsey area.
On November 1, 2020 Mayors and Councilman who were re-elected or elected for the first time took office on that date. The new Mayor and Council Members were delayed in Gordon but that has all been resolved and they are working together.
Director Judah wanted the Mayors to come together for him to meet, the Mayors meet each other, and to see the City of Dothan-Houston County Communications Center. Director Judah also had Corey from the Alabama Department of Public Health, who serves 10 counties on hand to brief the Mayor and Town Clerks.
Director Judah explained in the State of Alabama there are 67 counties and 67 Emergency Management Agencies. Each county operates different and many have their opinions of how Emergency Management should operate.
In Dothan-Houston County, Director Judah explained Dothan is great and has the resources to handle most anything thrown at them. The other 497 square miles, Director Judah responds with the fire and EMS. If they can get up at 2 AM and fight a fire, then go work their job all day, Director Judah says he can stand by them, grab a fire hose, assist them. And if you do not respond with them, how can you see what they need and what obstacles they face.
Director Judah also explained that Emergency Management is not a weather man. That he depends on the National Weather Service and local weather professionals to help guide him in staying prepared for weather emergencies. But weather is not what Emergency Management is about.
DOTHAN-HOUSTON COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DOES NOT REACT, IT RESPONDS.
In other words, his goal and mission is to be prepared to roll and not try and develop plans after something happens.
Emergency Management, contrary to some opinions, is not just a resource. It is also a responder. For some reason people with larger visions then some, named it EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT.
Judah welcomed the Mayors, Town Clerks and anyone from their town to contact him or come by Emergency Management. He added them to the information services of Emergency Management where the goal is to keep them informed.
Judah hopes that today is step 1 of many future steps to creating a working relationship. He feels we are all a team working together with one common goal, to serve the citizens.