The Office of Emergency Management (EMA) is a multi-functional agency whose primary duty is to prepare, respond and recover from several types of natural, man-made and technological disasters that may occur in Madison County. These disasters include severe weather emergencies such as large thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, large fires and hazardous materials incidents. This agency serves as a data collection point for facilities in our county that manufacture and/or store hazardous materials. The location and type of these materials is important to know in case of a large fire or explosion. We also serve as a support agency for other county departments as well as assisting municipalities as needed. We are the liaison agency between the cities and county to the State of Mississippi and the Federal Government in case of a major disaster.
On a daily basis, our E-911 Division provides addresses to the un-incorporated areas of the county in order to maintain a database for the 911 system. When someone dials 911, one of the six PSAPS (public safety answering points) within our county receives the call with this address data on a screen to facilitate the dispatch of required assistance. With this information available, the dispatcher may still send help to a location even if the caller is unable to speak or the connection is lost. Calls are automatically routed to the jurisdiction in which the calls originate. This saves valuable time for the caller to get help. This division also provides the equipment and maintenance for the agencies to receive these calls. In 1998-99 we have provided new state-of-the-art PSAP terminals to all of the locations in our county. These PSAPS are located in the cities of Canton, Madison and Ridgeland as well as the Madison Co. Sheriff's Department and the Madison Co. Emergency Operations Center. The instillation of multiple PSAPS eliminates down-time for the emergency dispatch network.
This agency has an ongoing training program in place since January 1999, to provide on site training for fire, law enforcement and medical personnel. This allows these agencies to study and interact with surrounding departments just as they would in a multi-jurisdictional disaster. This is particularly helpful to our many volunteer fire and rescue departments who are unable to attend courses during the day. All courses are provided to any agency in Madison County at no charge. From January to September 1999, we have provided 9540 hours of training to 265 men and women from 22 different agencies.
We have several other projects currently in various stages of completion:
- creation of a fully functional Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
- insuring that all schools in Madison Co. have a severe weather radio
- modification of travel trailers into a Mobile Command Post for long term, on-site recovery operations (2 new trailers were procured from FEMA at no charge)