[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Wells 11-2-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited and referred to as the "Emergency Management Ordinance of the Town of Wells" authorized under 37-B M.R.S.A. §§ 781 to 834 as enacted by P.L. 1983, c. 460.
It is the intent and purpose of this chapter to establish an office that will ensure the complete and efficient utilization of all of the Town's facilities to combat disaster as defined herein.
The Wells Office of Emergency Management will be the coordinating agency for all activity in connection with emergency management.
[Amended 11-7-2000; 4-28-2006]
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation of this chapter:
- The Director of the Wells Office of Emergency Management, appointed as prescribed in this chapter.
- The occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury or loss of life or property resulting from any natural or man-made cause, including but not limited to fire, flood, earthquake, wind, storing, wave action, oil spill or other water contamination requiring emergency action to avert danger or damage, epidemic, air contamination, blight, drought, critical material shortage, infestation, explosion, riot or hostile military or paramilitary action.
- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
- The preparation for and the carrying out of all emergency functions, other than functions for which military forces are primarily responsible, to minimize and repair injury and damage resulting from disasters or catastrophes caused by enemy attacks, sabotage, riots or other hostile action or by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural or man-made causes. These functions include, without limitation, fire fighting, police, medical and health, emergency welfare, rescue, engineering, air raid warning and communications services; radiological, chemical and other special weapons defense; evacuation of persons from stricken areas; economic stabilization; allocation of critical materials in short supply; emergency transportation; existing or properly assigned functions of plant protection; other activities related to civilian protection; and other activities necessary to the preparation for the carrying out of these functions.
- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FORCES
- The employees, equipment and facilities of all Town departments, boards, institutions and commissions, and, in addition, it shall include all volunteer personnel, equipment and facilities contributed by, or obtained from, volunteer persons or agencies.
- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT VOLUNTEER
- Any person duly registered, identified and appointed by the Director of the Office of Emergency Management.
- Restricted to the geographic boundaries of Wells or Wells and the municipalities adjacent to it.
- Includes plans, programs and other emergency procedures deemed essential to emergency management.
- TOWN MANAGER
- The person duly appointed to the position of Town Manager by the Board of Selectmen or the designated person selected by the Board of Selectmen in the Town Manager's absence.
An Office of Emergency Management is hereby established within the Executive Department of the Town government and under the direction of the Town Manager.
Organization. The Town Manager is hereby authorized to organize the Office of Emergency Management utilizing to the fullest extent possible the existing agencies within the Town.
Administration and operation.
There shall be an executive head of the Office of Emergency Management who shall be known as the Emergency Management Director. The Director shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen and work under the direction of the Town Manager.
In addition to the Director, the office shall include such other assistants, employees and emergency management volunteers as are deemed necessary for the proper functioning of the organization. Any necessary employee shall be hired by the Director with the consent of the Town Manager.
The Office of Emergency Management shall operate according to this chapter and regulations which shall be approved by the Wells Selectmen and which may be amended from time to time by the Selectmen. No regulation or amendment shall be approved or adopted by the Selectmen during a declared emergency.
Whenever a local disaster exists or appears imminent, the Town Manager, or his designee, by majority approval of the Board of Selectmen, shall, by proclamation, declare that fact and that an emergency exists in the municipality. A copy of the proclamation shall be posted in the same manner as the warrant calling a Town Meeting, and a copy of the proclamation shall be filed with the Clerk. Local representatives of the media shall be contacted and informed about the proclamation as soon as possible.
During any period when a local disaster has been proclaimed or when the Governor has proclaimed a disaster pursuant to 37-B M.R.S.A. §742, the Town Manager may promulgate such regulations as he deems necessary to protect life and property and preserve critical resources. Such regulations may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Regulations prohibiting or restricting the movement of vehicles in order to facilitate the work of emergency management forces to facilitate the mass movement of persons from critical areas within or outside the Town.
Regulations pertaining to the movement of persons from areas deemed hazardous or vulnerable to disaster.
Such other regulations necessary to preserve public peace, health and safety.
The Town Manager may obtain vital supplies, equipment and other properties found lacking and needed for the protection of health, life and property of the people and bind the Town for the fair value thereof.
The Town Manager may require emergency services of any Town officer or employees. If regular Town forces are determined inadequate, the Director may require the services of such other personnel as he can obtain that are available, including citizen volunteers. All duly authorized persons rendering emergency services shall be entitled to the privileges and immunities provided by state law and ordinances for regular Town employees and other registered and identified civil emergency preparedness and disaster workers.
Whenever the Town Manager is satisfied that a local emergency or disaster no longer exists, he shall terminate the emergency proclamation by another proclamation. That proclamation shall be published in local newspapers and posted in the same manner as the warrant calling a Town Meeting. Local representatives of the media shall be informed of the termination of the emergency as soon as possible.
The Director shall be responsible to the Town Manager in regards to all phases of the emergency management activity. Under the supervision of the Manager, he shall be responsible for the planning, coordination and operation of emergency management activity in the Town. Under supervision of the Manager, he shall maintain liaison with the county, state and federal authorities and the authorities of other nearby political subdivisions so as to ensure the most effective operation of the emergency management plan. His duties shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
Coordinating the recruitment of volunteer personnel and agencies to augment the personnel and facilities of the Town for emergency management purposes.
Development of plans for the immediate use of all the facilities, equipment, manpower and other resources of the Town for the purpose of minimizing or preventing damage to persons and property; and protecting and restoring to usefulness governmental services and public utilities necessary for the public health, safety and welfare.
Negotiating and concluding agreements with owners or persons in control of buildings or other property for emergency management purposes and designating suitable buildings as public shelters.
Through public informational programs, educating the civilian population as to actions necessary and required for the protection of their persons and property in case of enemy attack, or disaster, as defined herein, either impending or present.
Conducting public practice alerts to ensure the efficient operation of the emergency management forces and to familiarize residents with emergency management regulations, procedures and operations.
Coordinating the activity of all other public and private agencies engaged in any emergency management activity.
Assuming such authority and conducting such activity as the Town Manager may direct to promote and execute the emergency management plan.
A comprehensive emergency management operations plan shall be adopted and maintained by resolution of the Selectmen upon recommendation by the Town Manager.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any of the provisions of this chapter or of the regulations or plans issued pursuant to the authority contained herein or to willfully obstruct, hinder or delay any member of the emergency management organization as herein defined in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter or any regulation or plan issued thereunder.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this chapter, or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a civil penalty of a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $1,000 per occurrence.
At all times when the orders, rules and regulations made and promulgated pursuant to this chapter shall be in effect, they shall supersede all existing ordinances, orders, rules and regulations insofar as the latter may be inconsistent therewith.
This chapter shall take effect on the second day of November 1993