Emergency Preparedness

Jan. 2017 – HMCC staff and leadership participate in a tabletop exercise testing the Regional Coordination Plan for western Mass.

EMERGENCY RESPONDERS–If you are looking for Emergency Contact Information, look on the Resources for Emergencies page. If you need emergency assistance from the Medical Reserve Corps, Community Emergency Response Team, or Disaster Animal Response Team, please call Robert Quinn-O’Connor at 413-774-3167 x137. If you need to reach the Health & Medical Coordinating Coalition duty officer, or the Berkshire County or Pioneer Valley Community Organizations Active in Disasters, call the pager at (413) 200-8537.

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments is involved in a number of emergency preparedness initiatives serving all of western Massachusetts. Regional Preparedness Program staff work with four regional committees: the Mohawk Area Public Health Coalition, the Franklin County Regional Emergency Planning Committee, the Franklin County Emergency Communications System Oversight Committee, and the Western Mass. Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition. Working with these committees and with local governments, the FRCOG works to provide integrated planning and technical assistance meeting goals to improve and enhance our communities’ ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

Visit our Resources for Emergency Management Directors page or our Disasters and Town Management Training Series page.

Community Organizations Active in Disasters
A Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) is an umbrella organization that brings together agencies or groups that want to assist during an emergency, but aren’t part of the formal emergency response system.

The COAD itself does not provide direct services, but its member organizations do. The COAD provides a network based on coordination, communication, collaboration, and cooperation through which each organization can more effectively and efficiently assist in a disaster response.

COAD brings together organizations from many sectors of the community: primarily nonprofit agencies, businesses, and faith-based organizations.

During or after a disaster, local public safety officials can call on COAD members to provide support in response or recovery efforts.

Western Massachusetts currently has two operating COADs: the Berkshire County COAD and the Pioneer Valley COAD (covering Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties).  The COADs have a joint Emergency Operations Plan so the two entities can work together when a disaster strikes in western Mass. You may learn what kinds of services the COAD provides by downloading a copy of their brochure.

To request assistance from the either COAD, please page the HMCC Duty Officer by calling 413-200-8537. 

Franklin County Regional Emergency Planning Committee (REPC)
The Regional Preparedness Program coordinates the REPC, an emergency planning committee for all 26 Franklin County towns. The REPC receives Tier II hazardous materials reports from facilities in the County under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

For more information, or to request Community Right-to-Know information, please contact Dan Nietsche, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

Mohawk Area Public Health Coalition (MAPHCO)
The Regional Preparedness Program coordinates MAPHCO, a public health emergency preparedness coalition serving 24 Franklin County towns and two Hampshire County towns. Greg Lewis serves as the Coalition’s public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) planner.

For more information on MAPHCO, please contact Greg Lewis, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Planner.

Western MA Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition
The FRCOG serves as the sponsoring organization of the Western Massachusetts Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition (HMCC). The HMCC coordinates public health and medical emergency preparedness in Region 1 (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties).

For more information, please contact Tracy Rogers, Regional Preparedness Program manager.

To request assistance from the HMCC, please page the HMCC Duty Officer by calling 413-200-8537. 

Franklin County Emergency Communications System (FCECS)
The Regional Preparedness Program coordinates the FCECS. The FCECS Oversight Committee oversees construction and maintenance of a regional interoperable communications system linking police, fire, emergency medical services, and dispatch communications throughout and beyond the Franklin County region.

For more information, please contact Dan Nietsche, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.

Franklin County Citizen Corps
The Regional Preparedness Program coordinates the Franklin County Citizen Corps, a group of trained volunteers willing to assist in emergencies.

We frequently offer training for new volunteers in disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical response, light search and rescue operations, disaster psychology, and response to terrorism. Once trained, these new recruits are added to our roster of volunteers ready to respond to the next emergency in Franklin County or other areas of Massachusetts as needed. Introductory classes will be scheduled on a regular basis for those who might be interested in joining the Corps.

For more information, or to become a Citizen Corps volunteer, please contact Robert Quinn-O’Connor, Citizen Corps coordinator.