In the Beginning

The 13-member Region I Homeland Security regional oversight committee was formed on July 31, 2006, and the committee met Aug. 17, 2006 to organize itself.  Bob Hutson of Bourbon served as the group’s first chairman, selected at the August meeting.
The committee, which  serves the interests of Crawford, Dent, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski and Laclede counties, the six counties within Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop I, is comprised of one representative from 13 core disciplines.

Those persons first elected to represent the core disciplines were:
Emergency Management Director: Bob Hutson, City of Bourbon; Alternate: Jonathan Ayres, Laclede County Office of Emergency Management; 2nd Alternate: Lawson (Smitty) D. Smith, Pulaski County Office of Emergency Management;

Police Chief: Chief Sam Mustard, City of Lebanon: Alternate: Chief David Pikka, City of Rolla; 2nd Alternate: Chief Scott Mathenia, City of Bourbon;

Sheriff: Yet to be selected;

Fire: Chief Chuck Fraley, St. Robert City Fire and Rescue; Alternate: Chief Sam Schneider, Lebanon Fire Department; 2nd Alternate: Chief Robert Williams, City of Rolla;

County Health: Jodi Waltman, Phelps/Maries County Health Department; Alternate: Shirley Stulce, Crawford County Nursing Service/Health Department; 2nd Alternate: Debbie Rhodes, Region I EOI Specialist;

Homeland Security Rescue Team: Bryan Lewis, City of Rolla; Alternate: Ronald E. Smith, City of Rolla Fire and Rescue; 2nd Alternate: Chief Sam Schneider, Lebanon Fire Department;

Public Works: Jack Emory, City of Salem; Alternates still to be selected;

Mayor/City Administrator: James Morgan, City of Crocker; Alternate: To be selected;

County Commissioners: Still to be selected;

Private Industry/Public Utility: Jerry Wellington, Crawford Electric Cooperative;  Alternate:Tony Floyd, Intercounty Electric Cooperative Association;

Emergency Medical Services: Linda Hanrahan, St. James Ambulance; Alternate: Bill Patt, Steelville Ambulance;

911: Charles Witt, Crawford County: Alternates yet to be selected.

Volunteer Groups: Paul Rueff, Phelps County Disaster Committee; Alternates  to be selected.

Schools and hospitals were later added to the core discipline list and given representation on the committee.

MRPC, in partnership with the State Emergency Management Agency, coordinates the effort. MRPC acts as the group’s administrative entity and fiscal agent.

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities.

The Oversight Committee is also comprised of ex-officio representatives from various state agencies, including Missouri State Emergency Management Agency Area Coordinator, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Missouri Division of Fire Safety, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Water Patrol, Meramec Regional Planning Commission, Fort Leonard Wood, University of Missouri Rolla, Mark Twain National Forest, United States Geological Survey, National Park Service and United States Department of Agriculture.

“The meeting went well and was very productive” said Richard Cavender, MRPC’s executive director, remembering the first meeting in August 2006.

“After an explanation of the process and the purpose of the group, the various disciplines broke into working groups and selected representatives from within their group,” Cavender went on to explain.

“For example, the police chiefs in the region got together and selected one police chief to sit on the committee to represent all police chiefs in the region . They also selected an alternate to serve in absence of the primary member and to rotate into the committee position, when the first term is completed. Most groups also selected a second alternate to ensure representation and continuity in the position, ” Cavender added.

In an effort to maximize the return on investments of future homeland security grants in Missouri, Gov. Matt Blunt authorized the State Homeland Security Advisory Council and the State Emergency Management Agency to organize emergency response agencies, local governments, volunteer groups and utilities through regional planning commissions and empower them to provide input into how homeland security dollars will be spent.

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