The Union County Office of Emergency Management Agency is an organization that wae established in 1951. Originally called the Union County Civil Defense or “CD” as it was commonly referred to, the organization has always had one common objective: Assist the people and emergency agencies in Union County.
Like all Civil Defense agencies in the United States, Union County’s was developed to help with the Cold War situation and help communities develop bomb shelters and be prepared for enemy attack. Over time, the focus moved towards preparing the citizens for natural or man-made disasters. In Union County, a group of volunteers began to meet and develop ways to lend assistance to the County.
During the 60’s and 70’s, the county civil defense was largely involved in assisting with drowning incidents. A team of divers and a boat found the local group responding not only to incidents in Union County, but all of Central Ohio.
In addition, the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville requested our assistance on a regular basis. Before the current barbwire fences were constructed, the CD was called upon to assist in searching for escaped prisoners.
Not all of the local agencies activities were just in Union County. The organization responded to plane crashes in Wyandot and Champagne Counties, the Silver Bridge incident in West Virginia, and many other incidents to lend a hand.
The flood of 59, tornado of 72 and blizzard of 78, all saw the Union County Civil Defense play a major role.
As law enforcement and fire departments grew, the need for some of the Civil Defense services began to disappear. Therefore the members constantly look to find other avenues to assist them. In 1996, the agency changed its name to the Union County Emergency Management Agency, but continues to have its strong volunteer group.
Now the group's focus is on such areas as rehab for fire departments, maintaining and delivering the counties hazardous material equipment, generators and lights. The group assists with traffic control and communications, weather spotting and transportation during snow emergencies of people such as nurses and doctors. They maintain the County Emergency Operation’s Center . We are always looking for ways to support our community and the agencies that serve our residents .
The Administrative Section continues to work on training and education opportunities for all emergency response personnel and agencies that play a role in disaster response and recovery. They work closely with the county fire chiefs to continue to be sure all firefighters are trained to the level needed in dealing with hazardous materials. As the war on terrorism develops, the county EMA works to develop terrorism training and planning.
Of course being prepared for disasters remains the top priority. The flood of ‘97 saw the Union County EMA work with local officials to receive financial assistance for businesses in Marysville and Plain City. The Operations Division helped coordinate sand bagging operations in Milford Center and distribute water in Plain City. In 2014 the Windsor Manor high rise fire displaced 41 residents. We assited emergency responders with rehab and helped coordinate recovery efforts for the residents.