Muskegon Metro Area News
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Today, from out of the blue the phone rings and I am asked if I am doing anything specific and if there was a chance that I could come down to the Muskegon County Emergency Operations Center to help out for a while and to learn and observe just how this endeavor works and come back to share it with everyone. Needless to say, whatever else was scheduled got rescheduled and off I went. To say that this operation is amazing is an understatement. To know too that in the newest and rapidly improving Emergency Operations Center, that’s not quite even finished yet….we’ve hit a milestone in how this community will handle emergencies of scale.

Renee Gavin is the Emergency Services Manager. She is a former police officer and EMT and in her role with Muskegon County, it’s up to her to understand the assets available and how to mobilize them in a coordinated effort to make sure that what’s needed most gets where it needs to be, when it needs to be there with the assistance of our other municipal leaders and other services that are effected.

Today for instance, in the room were people from Norton Shores and Fruitport Fire, Norton Shores Police, Consumers Energy, The Michigan State Police, The Muskegon County Road Commission, Muskegon County IT, volunteer human relief agencies and more. All of which are designates to play pivotal roles in the assessment of and response to emergencies that are of large scale and require across the board mutual aid. The best part of this is that with the actual people on hand that understand what it takes to get things done….like a Fire Chief speaking directly to another Fire Chief or someone from Consumers Power on hand with an admin from the Muskegon County Road Commission, trees are going to get moved when they need to be and red tape is almost invisible when it comes to getting the job done. It’s almost like all of our municipal services across the county are musicians, and when needed, they form an orchestra. It’s in full effect now.

No, it’s not any better for people with no power or water at the moment, however, those with dire needs can be found ways to be taken care of quicker with pooled resources. Yes, it’s frustrating to be without the modern comforts, but….imagine if all of our smaller municipal organizations were trying to go it alone? We’d be waiting weeks instead of days. This is progress in Muskegon County in fast forward.
If you are in need of assistance, and you have life threatening problems. Call 9-1-1. The Muskegon Central Dispatch took 1089 calls in the first two hours of the storm. They are ready to help you. If you need assistance with food, call 2-1-1 and they can help steer you in the right direction. Check with your local municipality about a place to cool off and take shelter if you need it. Consumers Power crews are working around the clock to get things back as soon as possible and the hope is by midday Thursday 6/27 power will be restored.

We’re honored to be able to tell you the story of our hard working Front Line Responders working together as one. If you look around you, we’re seeing this more often than not and it’s the sign of a growing community that prioritizes its people and the care of them. Our thanks to Renee and her staff for having us there to experience this amazing work.

mkg county