Reginald Marshall speaks at LEPC meeting

Published 4:13 pm Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) held its second meeting of 2018 on Wednesday at the Dallas County Commission Courtroom.

Alabama Emergency Specialist Reginald Marshall was the guest speaker. He spoke about the importance of depending on the Selma Police Department and Selma Fire Department when accidents occur in the area.

“All disasters start at the local level,” Marshall said. “Before disasters happen, we have to get those players at the table. If those players aren’t at the table before disaster, they will be scrambling to stop it. If we put the legwork upfront, it will pay off.”

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Marshall, whose office is based in Clanton, also discussed the purpose of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) and Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).

The AEMA appoints the local emergency planning districts in the event of a disaster in the area. The ADEM maintains jurisdiction over chemical releases.

“Blue skies can turn into gray skies at the drop of a dime,” Marshall said.

LEPC members include Dallas County EMA Director Toya Stiles, Selma Fire Chief Toney Stevens and assistant chief Chris Graham, the LEPC’s Vice Chairman. At the last LEPC meeting on March 21, Graham was voted to remain Vice Chairman.

“I feel that LEPC meetings are very important for all agencies and industries to attend to give updates and work towards the prevention of hazardous chemical accidents,” Stiles said.

Two other key topics came from the meeting:

– Stiles said the balance in the LEPC account is $1,133.87, the same amount from their last meeting.

-Barbara Etheridge of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) said a plan for the flu vaccines hadn’t started.