Well, the third time is a charm, and that applies to P.E.A.T. which stands for People's Emergency Action Team. They had been on the Paonia Town Council agenda two previous times, but failed to show.
However, on April 9, the new team was on the agenda, present, and explained what the organization is about.
P.E.A.T. representative Kalvin Evans began with his apologies for missing the other sessions due to not being ready. "Thank you for your patience with me," Evans said.
P.E.A.T. is the outgrowth of a round table discussion from last year about what happens in an emergency crisis. "As a community, how do we support local law enforcement or fire departments," Evans said.
He was tasked with reviewing the emergency action plans for Paonia. What he found was a booklet with an emergency plan from 1999-2000 concerning Y2K. He was struck by how close the community was at that time. "So much so, in your community you knew who needed help," he said. "As a community, it would be a good idea to figure that out now, and with some of the things brought up during the round table discussion of how we as a community can work together."
The types of things being looked at are resources needed out in the field. For example, if 100 blankets have to be delivered to the town during a crisis, they should go somewhere other than the fire or police departments because those emergency personnel are needed on the front lines and not handling the logistics of relief supplies.
The team is comprised of people who all have emergency preparedness backgrounds.
"The whole goal is to make people aware of what resources are available," Evans said. "Basically being a help and support."
They have a letter of support from Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee to let the county know that P.E.A.T. is here to provide help and support.
From a postcard presented to the council members, P.E.A.T.'s mission states, "Just as peat is a sustainer of soil health and encourages growth, our mission is to be prepared in the event of a crisis situation by being proactive, working with the local authorities, and engaging community-wide participation."
P.E.A.T. is under the umbrella of Fire Corps, which according to their website, www.firecorps.org, is one of five partner programs under Citizen Corps. This is the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) "grassroots strategy to bring together government and community leaders to involve citizens in all-hazards emergency preparedness and resilience. Citizen Corps partner programs share the common goal of helping communities prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies of all kinds." Fire Corps was launched in 2004.
Scott Leon, Paonia police chief, explained that P.E.A.T. will be a resource to the fire department and police department. Leon said he would call Evans when resources would be needed. P.E.A.T. would then get the resources.
The team currently includes five to seven people. Evans is the acting incident commander and liaison officer.
This is a labor of love, Evans said, by the volunteers. There is no funding at this time.
Evans said others participating in the round table discussions included Sheriff McKee, Police Chief Leon, Hotchkiss Fire Chief Doug Fritz, Hugh Carson who is a FEMA consultant and Rob Fiedler who is the emergency preparedness director for Delta County.
Trustee Amber Kleinman thanked Evans. "Offering help for our community is a beautiful thing. I really appreciate all your efforts," she said.blog comments powered by Disqus