First Responders Serve Multiple Roles During Storms

From delivering prescriptions to transporting individuals to dialysis, storms in Kentucky have changed how emergency response agencies operate.

by Shayla Menville, The Morehead News / February 23, 2015
Lexington Police and Fire departments on the scene of a non-injury accident on I-75 in Lexington, Ky., on Feb. 21, 2015, as the third winter storm of the week to crosses Kentucky. (Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS)

(TNS) — Men and women who staff fire departments, ambulance services and law enforcement are used to working in life or death situations but extreme weather make their jobs even more challenging.

It is not always a fire or traffic accident that needs immediate attention. Over the past week firefighters, ambulance services, and law enforcement in Kentucky have been transporting individuals to dialysis, delivering prescriptions and ensuring that medical personnel make it to St. Claire Regional Medical Center.

Ronnie Day is director of emergency management for Morehead and Rowan County.

“We met with department heads and established a game plan to help provide services during the extreme cold and major snowfall,” said Day. “There are specific needs that are necessary for an individual’s health, like dialysis appointments, and coordinating how we would be able to serve.”

Department heads involved in the service response were Danny Blevins of Rowan County EMS, fire chiefs Jeff Anderson, Darrell Glover, Jackie Thomas, and Jerry Bowen, Sheriff Matt Sparks and Chief Deputy Joe Cline, Morehead Police Department Capt. Derrick Blevins, and E-911 coordinator Allen Caudill, Judge-Executive Walter Blevins and Mayor Jim Tom Trent.

“Our fire departments are spread out very well and each helped transport people in their district to critical appointments,” said Day. “Emergency management is whatever needs to be done and any time there is something of this magnitude, whether it is snow or flood, all you can do is plan and prepare. That’s what we have done.”

“We have conducted several prescription pickups and deliveries but we are also checking on elderly and those in need when they are reported by friends and neighbors,” said Cline. “We are using all of our resources and manpower to help as many as possible and provide needed services.”

Cline continued:

“This type of weather situation changes how the sheriff's department and other emergency response agencies operate.”

Emergency departments continue to monitor weather and will continue to provide essential transportation when needed.

“Fortunately, our traffic, fire, and medical emergency calls have been very low this week which has allowed us to assist those who needed us because of weather,” said Day. “All of the fire departments, the sheriff’s office, Morehead police and elected officials have been tremendous to work with.”

Day added that another key agency in the weather emergency response is Gateway Homeless Shelter that works with the city of Morehead to provide warming centers at the Carl Perkins Community Center and Park Place.

As the need arises, the warming centers will be open and The Morehead News will publish that information on the Internet at and on its Facebook page.

©2015 The Morehead News (Morehead, Ky.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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