The two grants were recently announced by Sampson County Emergency Management Services, both being Operation Round Up grants received from local electric membership cooperatives. The grant program is aimed at helping members in the cooperative service area, as well as those who help to service the critical needs of the same community.
The Four County Electric Care Trust Board voted to fund a request by Sampson County EMS for the purchase of needed computers, approving funding in the amount of $2,250 for the computer terminals during a trust board meeting last month.
The Sampson County Office of Emergency Management received the money to purchase computers that will be placed in the Emergency Operations Center.
The Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Operations Center is staffed during large scale incidents, natural disasters and events that may significantly impact the citizens of Sampson County. The center coordinates response and recovery operations during those emergencies.
“The way we communicate with the state Emergency Operations Center is a program called Web EOC,” said Emergency Management director Ronald Bass. “We have to have computers to send in updates and reports. We already have that capability, but this will update what we have. It gives us additional computers to work with.”
Operation Round Up was established to provide assistance to members who find themselves in unexpected crisis situations beyond their control, including illness, injury, loss of job, house fire or a natural disaster, as well as non-profit organizations providing services and support to those communities.
New computers to update emergency capabilities fits that purpose, as will a renovation of the emergency facility itself, Bass said, noting another Round Up grant award announced earlier this month from South River Electric.
Sampson EMS was approved for a $5,000 grant from South River Electric’s Operation Round Up program to help fund the renovation of a portion of the Emergency Management facility in Clinton. The check was presented last week.
The Emergency Management facility, located on Underwood Street off of Northeast Boulevard, operates out of the former Clinton National Guard armory. The armory was originally constructed in 1955 and Emergency Management moved into the partially renovated building in 1995.
According to Emergency Management officials, the renovation project will address the portion of the building that was originally designed as an indoor firing range. Additionally, the project will aim to provide adequate storage areas for emergency supplies, enlarge the training room and provide sleeping accommodations for EMS crews operating out of the facility.
The South River award will assist in making some of those changes a reality.
“That is a portion of what is needed,” said Bass. “It is an ongoing upgrade, an ongoing process. There is quite a bit of work we’re doing ourselves, some of the painting and moving around to make more storage room. It’s just a continuous process.”
Bass credited fire marshal Jerry Cashwell with spearheading the pursuit of the grants, which he said will help a great deal.
“It’ll be a big help,” said Bass, “a very big help.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 121, or by email at email@example.com.