Proposed Bill Could Combine City Emergency Management Teams With County Services

Friday, January 29th 2021, 8:22 am
By: Tevis Hillis

A proposed house bill could possibly take away local emergency management services and combine them county by county.

Moore’s Emergency Management Director says his town is a prime example of why this bill should not pass. 

“When we get assistance from our neighbor, and the region and perhaps even from the united states when those people go home, we still here locally are recovering,” said Gayland Kitch, the Emergency Management Director of Moore.

Proposed house bill 2839 would combine all city emergency management teams with county services if the city has less than a hundred thousand people.

That means cities would have to cut their emergency management directors and staff.

Kitch says having these programs in his town allows partnerships to remain in place. And on any given day, it involves watching, planning, and preparing.

“A great majority of the hazards that affect the city of Moore have a weather element to them,” said Kitch. “We work directly with our national weather service.”

But when an alleged drunk driver hit and killed three Moore students last year and injured four, the emergency management team was a part of the operation.

“Number one, we responded with additional equipment for the immediate response,” said Gayland. “The event occurred midafternoon, and our responders we finally packed them up at 2 a.m.”

The first reading of this bill is expected to happen Monday.