Manchester's Township Council on Monday introduced an ordinance that will set forth the guidelines for its Office of Emergency Management.
Though the office already exists and is staffed, the ordinance creates it within the Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Services, and puts the responsibilities of those already working there into the township code, Clerk Sabina Skibo said prior to its introduction at the council's regular meeting Monday evening.
"This clearly spells out the Emergency Management Coordinator and his function as far as fire departments and first aid squads, so we needed to clarify that," she said.
The ordinance is required now because, "at some point in 1996, it was taken out and we need to put it back into our code book," Skibo said.
Among the duties of the coordinator, a position currently held by Arthur Abline, are taking responsibility for "the planning, organization and direction of specific emergency management operations" and coordinating township departments for the development of emergency management programs, the ordinance states.
The coordinator is also responsible to study and recommend changes to organizations and structures of the Division of Emergency Services, which consists of Manchester's three fire companies, two first aid squads and the Community Emergency Response Team, according to the ordinance.
Numerous other duties are outlined in the ordinance, including developing and conducting drills, create training programs and coordinate the township's emergency service organizations in an emergency.
The Emergency Management Coordinator and Deputy, appointed by the mayor and approved by the council, staff the office for three and one year terms, respectively. The Deputy, recent appointee Marisa Wilkins, will serve as coordinator in Abline's absense, according to the ordinance.
The second reading and final vote on the ordinance will be held at the council's next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Complex courtroom.