Fran­chot praises QA emer­gency re­sponse

Sunday Star - - LOCAL - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.

CEN­TRE­VILLE — Queen Anne’s County Emer­gency Plan­ner David Rivett cred­ited the re­sponse to the EF-2 tor­nado that ripped through parts of Kent Is­land on July 24 to the depart­ment’s train­ing with all its part­ners.

Through part­ner­ships with area law en­force­ment, fire and emer­gency ser­vices, Rivett ex­plained to Comptroller Peter Fran­chot on Mon­day, Sept. 11, that over a hand­ful of years com­plet­ing ex­er­cises, the group as a whole was ready to re­spond to the de­struc­tive storm.

Fran­chot vis­ited the Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices head­quar­ters, 100 Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Drive, on Mon­day af­ter­noon, Sept. 11, to tour the fa­cil­ity and to give the depart­ment a procla­ma­tion for its “un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing un­par­al­leled service to the cit­i­zens of Queen Anne’s County” with “spe­cial ap­pre­ci­a­tion for your heroic ef­forts in as­sist­ing res­i­dents and busi­nesses” dur­ing and af­ter the tor­nado hit the re­gion.

Hav­ing toured the dam­aged neigh­bor­hoods days af­ter the storm, Fran­chot said he has heard “noth­ing but praise” from the com­mu­nity about how the county and al­lies re­sponded. “Ev­ery­body was just there to do their as­signed task,” he said.

Emer­gency Ser­vices Di­rec­tor Scott Haas, who cred­ited Rivett with spear­head­ing the ac­tion ef­forts, said the depart­ment is built on re­la­tion­ships and said the true hero of the storm re­sponse was Del­marva Power for its quick ac­tion get­ting power back to the af­fected ar­eas. Haas said Del­marva ini­tially es­ti­mated power would be out two or three days but had al­most 9,000 homes and busi­nesses back run­ning un­der 24 hours.

Men­tion­ing the tagline that used to be on the bot­tom of all state-sent emails, “Build­ing a Re­silient Mary­land,” Haas said the Queen Anne’s County com­mu­nity has demon­strated how true that catch­phrase is. Speak­ing about the com­mu­nity’s ac­tion, Haas said his team had only helped guide a few things and that “they’ve been in front of us on ev­ery­thing.”

County Com­mis­sioner Mark An­der­son, who praised the county’s staff and lead­er­ship, said, “I don’t know how y’all do it, but it gets done and it gets done with tremen­dous suc­cess.”

“We make sure that lives and health of our cit­i­zens do not get sac­ri­ficed to save dol­lars,” An­der­son said. “We find a way to move the dol­lars so they can be sup­ported.”

Through col­lab­o­ra­tion and cross-com­mu­ni­ca­tion with al­lied agen­cies, An­der­son said the mul­ti­ple train­ing ex­er­cises com­pleted for var­i­ous sit­u­a­tions paid off.

Rivett thanked the lo­cal gov­ern­ment lead­ers for sup­ply­ing the depart­ment with the nec­es­sary tools and equip­ment to be suc­cess­ful. He said the items they bud­get for are not wants, but needs, as the Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices un­der­stands it needs to be fis­cally re­spon­si­ble with tax­payer money.

“We’ve built an agency that in­cludes ev­ery­body,” Rivett said, ”and I think that was the suc­cess for the tor­nado re­sponse.”

Kim Kra­tovil, rep­re­sent­ing U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin’s of­fice, said from a per­sonal stand­point the com­mu­ni­ca­tion and re­spon­sive­ness be­tween gov­ern­ment and res­i­dents was ap­pre­ci­ated.

An­der­son praised the com­mu­nity mem­bers of the dam­aged ar­eas for check­ing in on their neigh­bors and help­ing clear de­bris. An­der­son also thanked the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works for keep­ing the trans­fer sta­tions open longer.

“We demon­strated in this county through all of us, co­op­er­at­ing with good lead­er­ship, we saw a com­mu­nity come to­gether and deal with this as a neigh­bor to neigh­bor, peo­ple need­ing help and get­ting it,” An­der­son said.

Prior to vis­it­ing emer­gency ser­vices, Fran­chot toured the Ken­nard High School African Amer­i­can Cul­tural Her­itage Cen­ter in Cen­tre­ville to learn what the Ken­nard Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion, lead by Clay­ton Wash­ing­ton, had done with its restora­tion ef­forts.

Fran­chot gave Wash­ing­ton a Comptroller’s Medal­lion for turn­ing a va­cant build­ing into an ed­u­ca­tional cen­ter. In 2014, the Mary­land Board of Pub­lic Works, made up of Gov. Larry Ho­gan, Fran­chot and Trea­surer Nancy Kopp, ap­proved $100,000 for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the cen­ter.

Af­ter his visit Fran­chot went down the street to walk through the con­struc­tion site of the new 42,000-square-foot Queen Anne’s County Cir­cuit Court­house that is to be opened in Spring 2018. Later, he paid his re­spects to fire­fight­ers man­ning a 9/11 dis­play over U.S. Route 50.

Clerk of the Court Scott MacGlashan and Comptroller Peter Fran­chot look through a sky roof in­side the un­der con­struc­tion cir­cuit court­house on Mon­day, Sept. 11, as the comptroller viewed its progress. From left: MacGlashan, Fran­chot and Pub­lic Works Di­rec­tor Todd Mohn.

PHOTOS BY MIKE DAVIS

Mary­land Comptroller Peter Fran­chot, mid­dle, gives Ken­nard Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Clay­ton Wash­ing­ton a Comptroller’s Medal­lion on Mon­day for his work in cre­at­ing the Ken­nard High School African Amer­i­can Cul­tural Her­itage Cen­ter. From left: County Com­mis­sioner Mark An­der­son, Wash­ing­ton, Fran­chot, County Com­mis­sion­ers Jim Mo­ran and Robert Buckey.

Comptroller Peter Fran­chot, mid­dle, gave emer­gency plan­ner David Rivett, right, a medal­lion for his work dur­ing the July EF-2 tor­nado that struck Kent Is­land. From left: Rivett, Fran­chot and Emer­gency Ser­vices Di­rec­tor Scott Haas.

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