The Northwest Hills COG sponsors the 20-town “Northwest Hills Public Safety Task Force” (PSTF), a broad based coalition of emergency responders including fire and police officials, local emergency management directors, emergency medical service personnel, and others.
The PSTF meets every other month and provides an important forum for first responders to discuss emerging issues in emergency management. In addition, the PSTF routinely provides guidance to the State on how best to invest the Homeland Security Grant funds allocated to the regional area. The Task Force has also been helpful in guiding the preparation of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans that have been developed for the area.
The Northwest Hills COG also actively participates in Region 5 of the CT Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Region 5 consists of 43 towns in Western Connecticut and is responsible for coordinating emergency management planning in the area and overseeing the expenditure of Homeland Security Grant funds. NHCOG staff serves as the local “Oversight Agent” for Region 5, and helps to coordinate and manage the expenditure of the awarded federal grant funds.
NHCOG often coordinates educational opportunities for regional elected officials and emergency managers. Past workshops have included Active Shooter emergencies and All Hazards Preparedness. A four part series of educational DVDs entitled “Communicating During Emergencies” was prepared with assistance from the Northwest Hills COG to enhance awareness and use of portable radios by emergency first responders. Copies of the DVDs are available from the COG office.
More information on the region’s emergency management activities is available from COG staff, the DEMHS Region 5 Coordinator (Tom Vannini at 203-591-3500), or the DEMHS website (www.ct.gov/demhs/site)