LEPC Vice President
Mexico Public Safety Sgt. Russell Sing has been selected to fill the vice president slot for the county's Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC).
Sing replaces former LEPC vice president Kevin Payne. Officer Sing has been with the MPSD since 2005 and in that period worked with the Division of Fire Safety. In 2006, he was promoted to Mexico Public School Resource Officer and fire inspector. In 2012, he was promoted to his current fire sergeant position, where he is responsible for training, inspections and pre-fire plans.
Audrain County Emergency Management Agency Director/LEPC Chairman Kevin Shaw said Sing's fire inspection and law enforcement background makes him a good match for the commission board. Jerry Johnson was also being considered for the position, and the margin of votes in the open election was 9-7 with a show of hands.
"Both of them are definitely qualified and both would suffice for the position and do a good job. It just came down to popularity and the numbers (of votes)," Shaw said. "We're happy with Sing, but would have been just as happy with Jerry."
Shaw said Sing's responsibilities will include any duties that the chairman cannot fulfill. His appointment went into effect immediately, and he joins the following commission officers: Chairman Shaw; Treasurer Patty Meyers; and Secretary Cynthia Woolridge.
In other LEPC business, the Audrain County LEPC received an award from TERC/SEMA, during the 4-state (Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas & Missouri) LEPC/ MERC Conference held recently. The award was given for the commission's outstanding achievement in planning, prevention and risk reduction in the community.
At the commission's July 18 meeting, Shaw told the commission: "I would like to take this moment to thank you for your participation in our L.E.P.C. Without your participation and input we would not have achieved this recognition from the MERC/SEMA. I do hope our LEPC continues to grow and continues to work and train together towards a safer and smarter hazardous materials response program here in Audrain County, through citizen education, planning and response training."
The plaque will be displayed in the county courthouse main floor rotunda, Shaw said.
The following was also discussed at the July 18 meeting:
• Tallgrass Pipeline invitation to tour pumping station in Audrain County.
• LEPC T-shirts.
• CEPF Grant/Approved by MERC.
• Annex H (stand-alone Hazmat plan) Sent and accepted by MERC living document.
• Mimi Diaz MERC Regional Planner presentation.
• Fund raisers for LEPC (Due to decreased state funding).
• Replacement of absorbent booms and pads from last event in Mexico.
• Multi-Gas indicator purchase.
• Prison (WERDCC, Vandalia) would like to plan for a large scale chemical event with LEPC affecting their facility.
The Audrain County LEPC is set up to develop an emergency response plan, review it at least annually, and provide information about chemicals in the community to citizens. Plans are developed by Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) with stakeholder participation. There is one LEPC for each of the more than 3,000 designated local emergency planning districts nationwide.
The LEPC is also responsible for the following:
• identification of facilities and transportation routes of extremely hazardous substances.
• description of emergency response procedures, on and off site.
• designation of a community coordinator and facility emergency coordinator(s) to implement the plan.
• outline of emergency notification procedures.
• description of how to determine the probable affected area and population by releases.
• description of local emergency equipment and facilities and the persons responsible for them.
• outline of evacuation plans.
• set up training programs for emergency responders (including schedules).
• methods and schedules for exercising emergency response plans.
The next LEPC meeting will be at noon Oct. 17 in the courthouse Community Room.