First Responders: Clarke County Emergency Response

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CLARKE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) – In our latest First Responder segment we are highlighting the hard working men and women of Clarke County during the February 5 tornado.

When a storm comes through Clarke County, there is a group of people that immediately get to work. Emergency crews setup a command post at the Enterprise Fire Department and started coordinating rescue efforts.

“When the tornado hit Wednesday night we had over 100 folks at least. They were from different agencies with volunteers,” EMA Director Eddie Ivy says. “Law enforcement from state agencies, county agencies, city agencies and public works crews. They were all out there to make this happen. That’s not counting all the power company crews and utility crews that were out doing the same things.”

With crews already working in the rain to clear debris, an empty room transformed into a full command center in the middle of the stormy night. Leaders of different agencies mapping out damaged areas, keeping track of closed roads. Dispatching crews to where they were needed most.

“Eddie and his group do a wonderful job. We coordinate with each other. Our fire departments do a wonderful job and our volunteers help out no matter what,” Clarke County Chief Deputy Barry White says.

Everything seemed to run with efficiency. Not only were paid first responders out in the thick of it, but the volunteers came out as well. Everyone helping to put one community in Clarke County back together.

“Everybody pulls together. That’s what makes this whole process work. It’s not a one agency or department show. It’s everybody having to work together and making it happen,” Ivy says.

That process doesn’t just appear out of thin air. There is an extreme amount of preparation and training long before the storm nears.

“Everybody trains together and that’s one of the big things folks don’t see. The training, the planning and the exercises. It’s a huge process,” Ivy says.

“In Clarke County our people come together and work together to get things done,” White says.

To stay up to date with our First Responders series tune in every Sunday night for Newscenter 11 at 10:00 p.m. and on Good Morning Meridian on Monday mornings.