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EMA director did excellent job

In response to the caller who wants to know what the Crawford County Emergency Management Agency director did to assist the victims of the recent ice/snowstorm, please let me educate you about the hard work this man did for our community during this storm.

Days prior to this storm, Kent Barrow began the process of preparing just in case Crawford County received the ice/snow that was forecasted for our region. He began early on by contacting the American Red Cross and other agencies, so that we could be prepared in the event we would need to evacuate individuals. He worked hard in maintaining communication with all emergency services in the county and did a great job of coordinating the resources when they were requested.

He also kept the county commissioners, local law enforcement, fire departments and EMS up to date on the status of the power outages at all times. He was in constant contact with the Indiana State Emergency Operations Center in Indianapolis and provided updates as needed.

He coordinated the National Guard unit that was requested and the inmates from Branchville Correctional Facility for the removal of debris and tree limbs so that utility companies' workers could make their way into areas to restore electricity and phone service to the area. He also coordinated the evacuation of the elderly and small children with medical needs from their homes to a shelter.

The caller should also know that after most of the residents had their electricity restored, Mr. Barrow and his family did not. This man worked tirelessly during this event to help everyone in every way possible. I know because I was there witnessing at the shelter, at the elderly housing and on the road when I heard voices on the radio requesting him to call them about just one more need.

You should also know that he and his family stayed at the shelter. His wife assisted the victims in whatever way she could, and his daughter was there helping to prepare meals and clean up messes.

While I understand you have the right to your opinion, you obviously have no idea what this man did during the storm. Kent Barrow, while being our Emergency Management Agency director, is one man. The response to any disaster is a team effort. There are many people who came together to make the response to this emergency such a success. In my opinion, everyone did a great job.

My hat goes off to the dispatchers, the firefighters, police officers, EMTs, highway workers, everyone at Hillview Christian Church and all the volunteers who, without complaining, gave so much to help their neighbors. I personally cannot think of a greater investment our county could have than what they have placed in, not just our EMA director, but the team of emergency responders we have in Crawford County.

Ray E. Saylor
February 11, 2009

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