Emergency Management

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EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY

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Overview

The Washington County/Johnson City Emergency Management Agency (WC/JC EMA) serves all area and citizens within the geographical boundaries of Washington County and the City of Johnson City to include areas of the city that lie in adjoining counties and is the local jurisdiction of the National Preparedness System.

WC/JC EMA works closely with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) to ensure that its plans and efforts are in line with state and federal requirements and standards. WC/JC EMA maintains relationships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. This includes all local fire and emergency medical services departments, emergency management agency directors and staff across the state, and the Red Cross. WC/JC EMA also collaborates with these agencies to provide training to responders and the communities they serve.

Mission

The primary mission areas and core capabilities of the WC/JC EMA are prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery.

Prevention and protection refer to a pre-disaster/incident role in which WC/JC EMA is responsible for determining the organization’s overall capabilities to avoid, prevent, or stop natural or manmade disasters. The organization accomplishes this by building and maintaining relationships with first responders as well as stakeholders such as community leaders, businesses, and volunteer organizations throughout our city and county. These relationships are important to the pre-incident planning process used to create the Washington County/Johnson City Emergency Operations Plan.

Mitigation is the process of building community resilience and reducing long-term vulnerability issues that follow any substantial incident. WC/JC EMA accomplishes this through performing risk assessments to determine areas of concern, addressing those concerns and applying measures to reduce or eliminate those concerns. 

Response includes opening and managing an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during the onset of an incident or disaster. The EOC gathers pre-designated decision makers from the various stakeholder groups and responders affected by the incident to a single location. The mission of the EOC is to manage critical transportation needs, environmental response, infrastructure systems, mass care services, operational communications, public and private services and resources, and anything else necessary to lessen the impact during and after an incident.

Recovery occurs post-disaster and includes the full documentation of incident activities and related costs, replenishment of supplies, conduct after-action reviews and develop improvement plans, and oversee long-term recovery efforts.

Nes Levotch has served as the director of WC/JC EMA for more than 20 years. He previously worked in law enforcement. The director provides overall direction and control for all disaster-related response activities, planning for weapons of mass destruction, hazardous materials, natural emergency events, and personnel.

Rusty Sells, operations and training officer, has worked with the agency for three years following a 13-year career with the Johnson City Fire Department. Sells oversees daily operations, coordinates the Emergency Operation Center, assists with planning and provides training.