Our Primary Responsiblities
The Office of Emergency Services is the "One Stop Shop" for all emergency planning, response, and management within Cattaraugus County. County Emergency Plans, such as the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), are created and maintained within the office and individual municipalities' emergency plans are forwarded to us for review and filing. We assist all towns, cities, and villages with emergency planning and coordination, as well as leading the County emergency operations.
Our staff is highly trained in National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) principles and, therefore, serves as the back bone to the County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Emergencies and planned events can be managed in our primary EOC, any of our several alternate EOCs throughout the county, and even from our Mobile Command Post trailer.
The four phases Emergency Management are mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.
Mitigation includes activities performed in order to reduce the loss of llife and property when disaster strikes. During mitigation, efforts are made to avoid or lessen the impact of emergencies when they occur. An example of mitigation is when a municipality aquires a property repeatedly impacted by flooding therefore removing the building and ability for mother nature to continue damaging porperty at a certain location. Another example is improving or replacing culverts to better direct water away from homes or businesses.
Preparedness means being prepared for natural and man-made disasters such as tornado, flood, drought, blizzard, ice storm, earthquake, chemical spill and nuclear incident. It includes a continuous cycle of planning, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action (mitigation) in an effort to ensure effective coordination during emergency response.
Response means responding in times of crisis and immediate actions taken to save lives, protect property, and meet basic human needs. It also includes helping a community return to normal life after a disaster occurs.
Recovery is the development, coordination, and execution of restoration plans, the reconstitution of government operations and services, and connection of the public with private-sector or public assistance programs. Recovery also means to promote community restoration and additional measures for social, political, environmental, and economic restoration. It is also critical to evaluate the incident to identify lessons learned and develope initiatives to mitigate the effects of future incidents.
It is important to learn the County's emergency warning signals, to learn how local government can help in an emergency, and most importantly to learn what you can do to protect yourself and your family.
The Cattaraugus County Office of Emergency Services works closely with the State Office of Emergency Management Office (SOEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as all other Cattaraugus County agencies involved in the four phases of emergency management, including Fire Service, Emergency Medical Services, and the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
Cattaraugus County Fire Coordinator - Christopher Baker
There are 37 fire departments in Cattaraugus County, only 2 of which are career (paid, staffed) departments. Within the Office of Emergency Services are the County Fire Coordinator and five Deputy Fire Coordinators, one for each county fire district (made up of multiple fire response districts/ fire departments) in Cattaraugus County. These Coordinators oversee and direct fire service activity including response to multi-agency emergencies and training requests.
Emergency Services staff, in conjunction with State Fire Instructors employed by the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control, coordinates fire service training for the county. Courses are held throughout the county to meet the needs of the fire departments; instructor availablilty and efficiency are of utmost importance. Click here for more information about Fire Service training.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Cattaraugus County EMS Coordinator - Robert Kuhn
Emergency medical services includes the 32 State-certified ambulance and first response agencies in Cattaraugus County. Of the 32, 22 are organized within a fire department, while the remaining 10 are independent organizations. Only those independent EMS agencies are able to bill for service.
Cattaraugus County is the basic life support EMS course sponsor for the county, meaning that we coordinate all certified first responder (CFR) and emergency medical technician (EMT) training. Courses are held throughout the county as needed to meet the EMS agencies' needs. Click here for more information about EMS training.