Pandemic, flooding has kept local EMA busy


The Delaware County Emergency Management Agency has been busy during the COVID-19 pandemic distributing personal protective equipment. In the process, two of its staff were selected as United Way Community Heroes.

Director Sean Miller discussed the COVID-19 response during Tuesday’s Delaware County Office of Homeland Security meeting where social distancing was practiced.

“It’s been an eventful three months since we last met,” Miller told the executive committee.

He said since mid-March, the county’s EMA has provided support and planning to local partners. For example, it was to assist the Delaware County Board of Elections during the spring primary before it became mainly vote-by-mail.

In addition, it has received 14 shipments of PPE from the Ohio EMA and 70 donations from other sources.

As of May 28, the following has been distributed to long-term care providers, public safety and other partners: 13,930 surgical masks; 4,124 non-medical disposable masks; 3,558 N95 masks; 2,915 cloth masks; 2,316 non-medical face shields; 394 gowns; 335 medical face shields; 137 boxes of gloves; four dust masks and one Tyvek.

Miller said operations have been largely virtual, and he praised two part-time staffers, Cody Jackson and Scott Stewart.

“They’ve risen to the occasion,” Miller said of the specialists. The United Way of Delaware County named Jackson and Stewart as Community Heroes during the COVID-19 response. Here is what they had to say about them:

“As an EMA specialist for DelCo EMA, Cody Jackson is part of the Emergency Operations Center liaison team and dedicates much of his time working with other EMA staff coordinating logistics, including PPE needs,” the United Way states on its website. “He continues to assess the needs of our response agencies and community partners to ensure that they have no immediate unmet needs.”

“Scott is an EMA specialist for DelCo EMA and is a member of the EOC liaison team,” the United Way states on its website. “He is committed to helping Delaware County navigate this difficult time and works with other EMA staff to coordinate the logistics of the county’s needs. He continues to ensure the needs of our response agencies and community partners are met.”

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the county’s EMA has also dealt with instances of flooding, monitoring the Greenwood Lake Dam and U.S. Route 42 sinkhole, weather briefings, civil unrest, and an annual fan drive, Miller said.

“We appreciate what you’re doing,” said Barb Lewis, a Delaware County commissioner and a committee member. “You’ve done a great job of being very flexible because many different things have been happening. When will it ever end?”



By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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