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BUCK PASSING 12-17-15 LMS

Vicki Hamilton described reasons behind the formation of the Voluntary Organization Active in Disasters Tri-County Program (VOAD) to the December 17 meeting of the Salmon City Council.

Prior to beginning she had council members hand a dollar bill from one elected official to the next, then said that was the way she felt her inquiries have been treated regarding response to last Februaryís Kidís Creek flood and her questions as to what has been done to prevent future flooding events. Hamilton went through the list of people to whom she has been referred. She said she was told the city falls under the countyís emergency plan and that the county told her the city needs its own plan. She said she is tired of the buck being passed.

Hamilton went on to explain that the purpose behind the VOAD program is one of Cooperation, Coordination, Collaboration and Communication in preparation, response and recovery before during and after disasters. The three counties involved are Lemhi, Butte and Custer. Hamilton said that locally, the willing volunteers such as faith based groups represent a tremendous resource but they need to be directed by Incident Commanders (ICs) and that there should be an IC on every event.

Councilman Fred Waidely said he doesnít feel the city passed the buck because it is still working on flood solutions. He said the city Public Works Team has identified some of the problems and is continuing to work on ways of preventing another Kidís Creek flooding event. He said he has talked with County Emergency Services Coordinator Janet Nelson about IC trainings she has conducted as well as classes she has held in sandbag filling. He said the city is being proactive.

Hamilton apologized saying she didnít mean to insinuate the city had passed the buck, she was just recounting her experience of being sent from person to person in her effort to find answers about what has been learned from the February flood and how to better respond next time.

Hamilton invited council members to attend and participate in the VOAD organizational meetings. The first VOAD meeting will be held in Salmon at the Calvary Chapel on January 12. A February meeting is planned for Challis and one for Arco in March.


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