The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Region 21 Emergency ensuring safety in the panhandle

 

Amanda Tafolla-Sutton / Sun-Telegraph

Command One is a 40 foot motor coach that acts as a mobile emergency operations center in emergency situations.

Region 21 Emergency Manager, Ron Leal, takes proactive measures to ensure safety in actual and potential emergency events in the Panhandle.

Under state law, all local jurisdictions are responsible for initial response to a disaster, and each local government must also participate in a full-time emergency management program.

According to the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, emergency management in the United States has been divided into four phases: preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.

Leal said planning and training exercises are the main goal of emergency management, with a emphasis in hazardous materials training (hazmat).

"Hazmat training is big in the area because there is no hazmat team," Leal said. "The nearest is Scottsbluff or North Platte. Hazardous material runs daily through Cheyenne County on the railroad and along I-80 and even through town."

As the Emergency Manager, Leal responds to fires, weather events, hazmat and search and rescue emergencies in the five counties he serves.

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