A new association in Vermont aims to be a resource for anyone who plays in a role in emergency management in the Green Mountain state.
The Vermont Emergency Management Association (VTEMA) officially launched in late March.
“Nobody can be a superstar for holding their own information. The success in emergency management is everybody supports each other,” said Doug Babcock, president of VTEMA.
Babcock is a longtime police officer and current public safety and emergency management director at St. Michael’s College.
He was part of a group of emergency management officials who began planning the Association in 2016.
The group used bylaws and other practices from states that already had an association.
The New York State Emergency Management Association links resources in the Empire State.
“Any person who has a role of any kind in emergency management within the state of Vermont can join,” he said.
Babcock says, previously, there wasn’t a mechanism in the state for sharing new ideas or information, such as flood prevention plans or training exercises, from one municipality to another.
“If we have an association that can share in a pool, ‘hey I put this plan up.’ Somebody else is going to ask a question that somebody at another point has solved,” said Babcock. “None of it is copyrighted. None of it is proprietary. Anyone that’s posting is posting voluntarily.”
Membership requires a $25 annual fee.
Babcock has plans for a software platform to share documents and a listserv to make it easy to communicate.
“They can send one email out ‘Hey, here’s my problem. Anybody addressed this before?’ And anyone else that has or that has input is free to respond,” he explained.
While it is separate, the Association has the support of the state.
“However we can support emergency managers as well as the mission of the vermont Emergency management association we’ll continue to do so,” said Erica Bornemann, Vermont Emergency Management Director.
“We really look forward to working with them to advance emergency management in the state of Vermont.”
The hope is everyday people can learn from it too.
“An organization that needs some kind of training could come to us and say ‘do you have any classes? Would you be willing to do the legwork to set up a class?’ And we could be a partner in that,” said Babcock.
As a non-profit, the Association also accepts donations.
To learn more about how to join or donate, visit https://vtema.org/.