Emergency Management Committee participates in national initiative

Karen D. Bloodworth
Technical Services Program Manager
APWA Kansas City Office

In the National Strategy for Homeland Security President Bush called for "a comprehensive national system to bring together and coordinate all necessary response assets quickly and effectively." As part of this effort FEMA, within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has undertaken the National Mutual Aid and Resource Management Initiative. Two members of the APWA Emergency Management Committee are representing public works on this project. Larry Nadeau, City of Port St. Lucie, Florida, is participating in the resource typing workgroup, and Chris Yarnell, Cole County, Missouri, is serving on the advisory group to develop a mutual aid template.

The purpose of the National Mutual Aid and Resource Management Initiative is to enhance the ability of any jurisdiction to respond to an incident by using resource typing and mutual aid. These tools will allow emergency managers to request and receive resources during an emergency, and to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of the community.

FEMA has established a working group of federal, state and local agencies, and representatives from all of the key emergency response organizations. Participating organizations include public works, police, fire, state emergency managers, a variety of city and county health and rescue organizations, and the Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability.

Resource typing is the categorization of resources that are commonly exchanged in disasters via mutual aid, by capacity and/or capability. This initiative provides a process for typing and inventorying resources within identified disciplines throughout the nation. The program is designed to help jurisdictions in need quickly and effectively request and receive resources through mutual aid. The resource typing working group will organize national response resources into groupings of like resources (kinds) according to minimum standards for ease of ordering and mobilization.

The APWA Emergency Management Committee. From left: Larry Lux, APWA Board Liaison, President, Lux Advisors, Ltd., Plainfield, IL; Chris Yarnell, P.E., Director, Cole County Public Works, Jefferson City, MO; Paul Brum, P.E., Public Works Director, Oklahoma City, OK; Karen Bloodworth, APWA Staff Liaison; Brian Usher, Chair, Director of Public Works & Engineering, Zion, IL; MaryAnn E. Marrocolo, Director, Recovery and Mitigation, New York City, NY; Jake Arslanian, Public Facilities Manager, West Valley City, UT; and Larry Nadeau, Project Manager, City of Port St. Lucie, FL

The working group has completed a glossary of terms and the typing of the first sixty resources. The remaining critical resources are slated to be completed in 2004. Eventually, the resulting inventory will be put into an automated system that will make it easy for emergency managers to determine the locations of resources they may need in a future crisis.

The National Mutual Aid and Resource Management Initiative builds on the growing practice of interstate and intrastate mutual aid agreements that will assist emergency managers in acquiring those resources necessary to prepare for, respond to, or recover from any emergency. Mutual aid agreements are a way to leverage the nation's resources to respond to disasters of all types. These agreements enhance the nation's ability to respond to catastrophic events such as natural disasters and acts of terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.

The National Emergency Managers Association (NEMA), through a grant with FEMA, will assist in the development of a model intrastate mutual aid agreement. The agreement will be designed so that it can be used by any state without such an agreement or compact in place. These agreements increase connectivity among regions, counties, and other local jurisdictions within a state, and link local resources to an interstate mutual aid program.

The National Mutual Aid and Resource Management Initiative is designed to create a national system that builds on existing strengths between jurisdictions (local-to-local, local-to-state, state-to-state, and state-to-federal) that will enhance preparedness and the ability to respond to an emergency on all levels. Through the efforts of the APWA Emergency Management Committee, FEMA Branch Chief of Program and System Development, Gil Jamieson, will present an overview of the initiative at the 2004 Congress in Atlanta this September. Mr. Jamieson will also discuss the National Incident Management System (NIMS), FEMA's current efforts, and its role in the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS). For more information about this initiative visit

Facilities & Grounds Committee focuses on quality and services

Karen D. Bloodworth
Technical Services Program Manager
APWA Kansas City Office

The APWA Facilities & Grounds Committee is hard at work completing their 2003-04 work plan. Among their projects is a public works safety publication. The committee is convening a task force to review workplace safety and public works. They will determine if there is a need for a safety publication, what subject areas should be covered, involvement needed from other Technical Committees, and the identification of subject matter experts. If a need is established a publications subcommittee will be organized to author the publication. The project should be completed by the end of 2004.

It is also time for the annual APWA committee nominating process. At the end of each year APWA presents a call for nominations for appointment to a variety of standing committees, task forces, and external appointments. Current appointments are for the September 2004-September 2005 leadership year. These include the Technical Committees, with members serving two-year terms. Technical Committee members may serve a maximum of three terms, or six years. And this year for the first time the appointments process was entirely online. Nominations were due March 1, 2004.

The most important meeting of the year for the Technical Committees is the Combined Technical Committee Meeting in Kansas City. This year we will meet on March 26-28, 2004. This is the only opportunity the committee members have to complete a very heavy workload for the coming year. Each of the nine Technical Committees will meet for a full day, with Saturday reserved for a joint meeting of all of the committees. During the joint session committees discuss current industry issues and hot topics in their area, receive an update on national association projects, and look for opportunities to network and collaborate with other Technical Committees.

The Technical Committees are also involved in the development of a PowerPoint presentation for APWA chapters. These 20-minute presentations will describe the national committee process and discuss key projects and issues the committee is working on. The presentations will be provided to all chapters for consideration as a discussion topic, or as a potential program for future chapter meetings.

The Facilities & Grounds Committee, through its partnership with the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS), is working to bring two PGMS certification programs to APWA members as a value-added benefit of our partnership. The committee is also developing a relationship with the International Facility Managers Association (IFMA). Our liaison to this group is Facilities & Grounds Committee Chair Dwight Riggle. Dwight is currently serving in Iraq with his civil engineering reserve unit. We hope to see him back in action as a member of the APWA leadership team in the near future.

Members of the Facilities & Grounds Committee at the San Diego Congress. From left: Clarence Wright, Karen Bloodworth, Larry Frevert, Dwight Riggle, Michele Ohmes, Hildo Hermandez, Gene Moore, Venu Gupta, and guest Don Bottger, Asst. Facility Manager, San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

Your Facilities & Grounds Committee is very committed to increasing the quality of services delivered to our citizens, while increasing information exchange and professionalism within public works facility and grounds management. We welcome input from our colleagues at APWA, and invite you to contact the committee with any questions, suggestions for future Congress sessions, articles for the APWA Reporter, or publications. Committee e-mail addresses can be found at We also invite you to become a volunteer leader at APWA and consider an appointment to one of the nine Technical Committees.

The current roster for the Facilities & Grounds Committee includes Dwight Riggle, CFM, Chair, Director of Facilities Management Department, Louisville & Jefferson County Metro, KY; Hildo Hernandez, Acting Chair, Retired Director of Physical Plant Management, California State University at Northridge; Clarence Wright, Manager, Department of Recreation, Forestry & Grounds, City of Detroit, MI; Gene Moore, General Manager, City of Sacramento, CA; Venu Gupta, Director of Buildings & Fleet, City of Milwaukee, WI; Michele Ohmes, ADA Specialist, City of Kansas City, MO; Larry Frevert, Board Liaison, Assistant Director-Engineering, Planning and Design, Kansas City, MO Parks and Recreation Department; and Karen Bloodworth, Staff Liaison, Kansas City, MO.

Karen Bloodworth can be reached at (800) 848-APWA or at