By LINDA MESSMER
The Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC) has purchased a new hazardous material trailer to be used in Clay County. The LEPC will take possession of the trailer, purchased from Detro Sales in Bainbridge, Ind., sometime next week.
Clay County Emergency Management Director Gerri Husband, who is also a member of LEPC, recently discussed plans for the new Haz Mat trailer.
"Initially, it will be housed on the grounds of the Clay City Fire Department because they are the only department that has the room," Husband said. " But LEPC is looking for a location closer to I-70."
The trailer will be renovated to include items such as lighting, cabinets, shelving and communication equipment. The labor for the renovation will be donated.
"It's an emergency and mobile vehicle," Husband said. "It can be transported to any location where needed."
Husband said initially the trailer will be transported by the Clay City Fire Department. The LEPC eventually hopes to have its own transport vehicle.
Before deciding on the trailer, LEPC took input from the county response agencies such as St. Vincent Clay Hospital, Clay County Health Office, Clay County Emergency Management and all of the law enforcement agencies.
"By taking their input we were able to make comprehensive decisions," Husband said. "And it was all done with grant dollars not taxes."
The Clay Community Foundation funded one grant. A State Emergency Management sub grant, from the office of Domestic Preparedness, completed the funding needed for the trailer and renovation.
"County Health Nurse Jennifer Lucas, who is also an LEPC member, has purchased some equipment for the trailer," Husband said. "Those items can be used to help decontaminate patients or responders for any type of hazardous material event."
Husband added that Emergency Management, through another grant, has also purchased items needed for the stages of decontamination.
Husband explained there are three different stages.
The first two involve water pools and showering. The Emergency Management grant was used to purchase equipment used for these two stages.
The items Lucas purchased are to complete stage three which is to ensure the patient or responder is completely clear of contamination and provide appropriate clothing.
"Clay County has never had this type of equipment before," Husband said. The agencies will work together to provide safety for the citizens of Clay County. LEPC is anxious to have the trailer delivered and get the renovation started.