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Badger prepares city for emergencies
ARLINGTON Chris Badger was hired by the city of Arlington to be its Emergency Management Project Manager just in time for Emergency Preparedness Month in April.
Badger came to Arlington because she wanted to work more closely with the community after an eight-year stint at the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management which she began in June of 1999 by preparing for Y2K, and concluded as the deputy director of the DEM.
It was in her position as deputy director of the DEM that she responded to the Oso Steelhead landslide in January of 2006 and worked in the Emergency Operations Center during the November floods and December windstorms later that year, although her roles in the DEM included volunteer and preparedness specialist, training coordinator and public information officer.
We were mostly just dealing with natural disasters and hazardous material when I started out there, said Badger of her career in the DEM. We were aware of terrorism, of course, but it wasnt until Sept. 11 that it shifted to the front of our focus. The unimaginable things that wed seen on TV before, we had to be able to expect here now.
Badger credited President George W. Bush with pushing for funding of Community Emergency Response Teams, many of which had been in operation for close to a decade, to help neighborhoods prepare for disasters and terrorist threats alleviating some of the stress on emergency agencies.
Its been one of my passions to pass information forward to the schools of our county by providing multi-hazard workshops to schools and local citizens, in the form of CERT training, said Badger, whose own training has included courses on weapons of mass destruction, incident command, integrated emergency management response and earthquakes.
As part of Emergency Preparedness Month, the Arlington Fire Department and the city of Arlington will be distributing informational pamphlets and booklets, such as a Snohomish County flood safety bulletin and a Washington state emergency resource guide, through the mail and from City Hall and the fire station.
Badger also hopes to get some participants for CERT training this spring. The courses will cover subjects such as how to perform triage and identify different types of hazardous materials from their warning signs.
The field guide you receive explains how to mark buildings after a hurricane, to let people know whos searched them and when, and whether they found any victims, Badger said. It also shows you how to put together box cribs which can lift tens of thousands of pounds, so that you and others and move them move blocks of concrete.
The field guide is available to those who attend CERT training courses, but citizens may simply call or walk into City Hall or the fire station to receive the emergency resource guide and the flood safety bulletin.
Were also planning to mail the flood safety bulletin to everyone living on the flood plain, Badger said. As for the CERT training course, it costs $30 to cover the cost of your hard hat, goggles, gloves and whistle, but its fun.
To learn more, call the Arlington Fire Department at 360-403-3600.