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The Ohio Intrastate Mutual Aid Compact (IMAC), Ohio Revised Code Section 5502.41, was updated on July 3, 2012. IMAC is mutual aid agreement through which all political subdivisions can request and receive assistance from any other political subdivisions in the state; many of the administrative and legal issues are resolved in advance of an incident. All political subdivisions are automatically part of IMAC. The definition of political subdivision is broad and includes not only counties, municipal corporations, villages and townships, but also port authorities, local health districts, joint fire districts, and state institutions of higher education.
Political subdivisions are authorized to enter into mutual aid agreements and new language expressly authorizes political subdivisions to enter into mutual aid agreements with political subdivisions in neighboring states without a governor’s declaration of emergency. Many of the same protections set forth in IMAC apply to this form of mutual aid as well. Several neighboring states also have similar provisions which should make working out these mutual aid agreements much easier.
Requests for mutual aid can now be made without a formal declaration by the chief executive of a political subdivision and the first eight hours of assistance is expressly identified as not requiring reimbursement. Requests can also be made for assistance with training, exercises, and planned events. The regional response teams that have been developed, such as bomb, collapse search and rescue, water rescue, and hazardous materials, can also be requested and provided through this mutual aid compact.
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is the first national disaster-relief compact since the Civil Defense and Disaster Compact of 1950 to be ratified by Congress. Since ratification and signing into law in 1996 (Public Law 104-321), 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted legislation to become EMAC members.
EMAC offers assistance during governor-declared states of emergency through a mutual aid framework that allows states to send personnel and equipment to help disaster relief efforts in other states. EMAC establishes a firm legal foundation for interstate mutual aid deployments. Once the conditions for providing assistance to a requesting state have been set, the terms constitute a legally binding contractual agreement that makes affected states responsible for reimbursement. The EMAC legislation solves the problems of liability and responsibilities of cost and allows for credentials, licenses, and certifications to be honored across state lines.
More information is available at www.emacweb.org.
The purpose of the Ohio Fire Service Emergency Response System is to provide local fire chiefs with easy access to fire service resources within the state that may be needed in a major fire, disaster, or other major emergency. The System is based on a series of shared experiences during recent disasters and major emergencies in the State of Ohio. It is also an evolution of our past experiences in dealing with the day-to-day incidents that continually challenge our resources and competencies. Most importantly, it is a practical approach to provide fire service resources in quantities beyond the means of any single fire department.
The Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association created the System to provide for the systematic mobilization, deployment, organization, and management of fire service resources to assist local agencies in a major fire, disaster or other major emergency. The local fire service agency is the first tier of defense in responding to disasters and other emergencies.
The System provides for the rapid activation, mobilization, and response of aid to a community in the event of a localized disaster. These events can include a major fire, train derailments, hazardous materials incidents, wildland fires, domestic terrorism and other events that may overwhelm the local fire department serving the community and its normal mutual aid resources.
The Ohio Law Enforcement Response Plan (LERP) Is a tool for law enforcement agencies to use to acquire large amounts of law enforcement response resources in the event of a domestic terrorism attack, major disaster, or other emergency. The LERP can only be activated through a Sheriff’s request (under ORC 311.07) or through a Chief’s request under the Intrastate Mutual Aid Compact (ORC 5502.41). The Colonel of the Ohio State Highway Patrol can also activate the LERP.
Ohio WARN is a statewide Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) of “utilities that assists utilities with preparing for their next natural or human-caused emergency, organizing their response according to established requirements, and sharing personnel and other resources statewide, by agreement. The mission of the Ohio WARN network is to support and promote statewide emergency preparedness, disaster response and mutual aid assistance for public and private water and wastewater utilities for natural and human caused events in the State.