The Office of Emergency Services is a department that is extremely important in helping the well-being of Nevada County and its residents. This department oversees any sort of emergency within the County and is responsible for helping solve the problem. This could include safety from fires, earthquakes, floods, pandemics, hazardous material spills, and other natural or man-made disasters. During my internship in the Nevada County Executive Office, I decided to shadow a few different departments and one I chose was OES. I wanted to learn more about what the OES does and how they are involved in fire safety for Nevada County. To learn more about this, I reached out to an expert in this area: Administrative Analyst, Jenn Tamo. Tamo works largely on helping with fire safety in the county and is constantly working with Ready Nevada County to get our county prepared for wildfires so she was the perfect person for me to learn from.
The Wildfire Prevention Stakeholder Meeting
To learn more about what the county is doing to be wildfire ready, I attended the Wildfire Prevention Stakeholder Meeting. The purpose of this meeting was to bring community stakeholder organizations together to talk about their ideas for fire safety. It was a way to network and identify areas where organizations and programs can collaborate. In this meeting, several different people from different organizations talked about their role in wildfire. County staff from Public Works, Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Evacuation Team, Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, Town of Truckee Emergency Services, and The Sierra Fund all spoke of the progress that they have made in their projects. Both County Public Works and the Fire Safe Council made presentations on the importance of vegetation removal and management within the county and how they are helping reduce the chance of a wildfire spreading. The Evacuation Team spoke of the progress they had made with improved internal tracking and communication tools used during fires but also how much more funding they needed for more advanced technology. The Sierra Fund discussed their help in making sure everyone gets the education on wildfire safety they need. This included those in the Spanish-speaking community and those living in mobile home parks. The Town of Truckee’s Emergency Services Coordinator stressed the fact that this fire season is 2 months ahead of schedule and that by the end of the year high winds would definitely be an issue. Each of these organizations play a key role in fire safety and this meeting was a great way for them to share their knowledge.
Educating the Public
An important way that the OES helps educate county residents on fire safety is through outreach to the public at events such as the Thursday Night Market. Tamo and I worked together to inform the public on crucial information they need to know to be fire safe. This involved many discussions with people on CodeRED emergency alerts, knowing their evacuation zone, and making sure they knew what to do in case of an evacuation. CodeRED is an extremely important and useful tool that is used when there is a large fire in Nevada County. Emails, phone calls, or text messages are sent out to those who have signed up for CodeRED about where the fire is, and which evacuation zones have been issued a warning or an order to evacuate. That’s why it’s so important to know your zone! We spent the evening talking to people about how to sign up for CodeRED if they haven’t already and how to find their zone. Visit www.ReadyNevadaCounty.org to sign up for CodeRED and learn your zone. For more information on wildfire preparedness, visit the Ready, Set, Go Handbook. This fire season let’s all be Ready Nevada County!
Zoe Keriotis is a Junior at Nevada Union High School and is a summer intern for the Nevada County Executive Office. Nevada County offers a variety of internships for all experience levels and interests. If you are interested in the internship opportunities with Nevada County, send an email with your interests to Internship.Coordinator@co.nevada.ca.us or find open internship opportunities at www.MyNevadaCounty.com/Internships.