Idaho State Law designates the Sheriff of each county responsible for all disaster response as needed for all incidents or situations reaching disaster-type proportions, including natural and man-made events. Over the past years, the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office has developed our Disaster Services into more than just providing a response in case of emergency. Under the directorship of Chuck Turner, it has become an active program which includes the coordination and dispersion of Homeland Security grant funding, the cooperation of area emergency and first responder services, and an active exercise of our emergency plan. Disaster Services is responsible for coordinating responses to county events with potentially or actual disastrous results, such as fires, floods, avalanches, hazmat events, and other man-made or weather-related incidents, both intentional and unintentional. Disaster Services supports the lead agency(ies) during a crisis and is the primary point of contact for all grant funding. The Disaster Services program is designed to be pro-active. While many critical incidents cannot be foreseen, members stay vigilant to situations which may result in emergencies, and take steps to prevent or minimize the impact before the emergency/disaster arises.
Our Disaster Services Coordinator Chuck Turner is also the elected chairman of the Blaine County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). As an information gathering organization, the LEPC organizes and facilitates table top and functional exercises which update and maintain our Emergency Operations Plan to ensure it remains an up-to-date effective guide for managing critical multi-jurisdictional incidents. The LEPC is also responsible for planning for natural disasters and man-made activities, and the implementation of homeland security grants. The LEPC meets monthly to allocate funding, discuss equipment needs and distribution, and plan training and communication exercises and is comprised of first responders from all jurisdictions including law enforcement, Fire/EMS, St. Luke’s WRMC, local volunteer organizations, utility groups, and the general public. The LEPC also works closely with state and federal emergency response agencies, including FEMA and the Idaho BHS. The success of Disaster Services/LEPC has been achieved through the close cooperation and support of all agencies involved.
Please see the following links for more disaster services information:
- Blaine County Local Emergency Planning Committee
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security Disaster Services
- American Red Cross Disaster Services
- Sawtooth National Forest Avalanche Center