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Staff Reporter 

ML council briefed on disasters

County Department of Emergency Management gives presentation


The June 17 Medical Lake City Council meeting was highlighted with a presentation from the Spokane County Department of Emergency Management.

Ed Lewis, former Spokane County District 4 Fire Chief and current deputy director of emergency management, said he has been speaking to the elected officials in the county to discuss different options to help officials prepare their cities and citizens for natural disasters.

“Through our emergency operations management group (EMOG), we sit down, talk about how we can educate our community and how can we respond should something occur?” Lewis said.

Lewis said the EMOG has been looking at is potential derailing of trains carrying crude oil that comes from the Bakkan Region in North Dakota. He said his group conducted a tabletop exercise that was specific to a derailment in Spokane Valley and how emergency services would respond to that scenario.

“We’re taking lessons learned from that exercise and we will be using that to build toward a full-scale exercise in the next 12-18 months,” Lewis said. “We’ll most likely have that in downtown Spokane or in an urbanized setting.”

Medical Lake is currently in an interlocal agreement with Spokane County as the city’s emergency management coordinator. Lewis said the EMOG brings in various departments and agencies throughout the county to discuss emergencies and training.

“Falling back on my experiences, it’s usually the relationships that get communities through a time of crisis,” Lewis said. “If the relationships aren’t there, we often at times fail.”

City Administrator Doug Ross said the interlocal agreement ensures that Medical Lake is not solely reliant on their Fire Department or the Emergency Medical Services crew.

“We have them to provide our coordination and shelters,” Ross said.

In other business:

• Ross said the city’s water restrictions would be in affect from now until August.

• The Medical Lake Fire Department was named the Spokane County EMS Agency of the Year for 2013.

• Tammy Roberson presented the City Council with a petition to reduce the speed on Brooks Road to 25 miles per hour.

• The City Council authorized the investment of city funds into the local government investment pool.

• The council also approved a fireworks stand permit to Western Fireworks Inc.

• The City Council held a 20-minute executive session to consider real estate being offered for sale or lease and negotiations for a contract. No action was taken after the executive session ended and public meeting resumed.

Al Stover can be reached at

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