Richland County Emergency Aims For Improvements

Brandon Roth, director of emergency management for Richland County, is dedicated to making the area as safe as possible for area citizens. That commitment includes improvements through new projects.

“We’re on a constant rotation of projects,” Roth said. “We’re looking at something new every day.”

He noted the drone project that was started a couple years ago has been very beneficial for public safety. The drones can be used for fire response, search and rescue efforts and fire searches of homes.

Real time imagery assists in both flooding and hazmat emergencies so officials can obtain information as quickly as possible.

Thanks to a Homeland Security grant, Richland County will soon have an incident command trailer. The facility will increase the response capability in a larger emergency and allow emergency personnel to have mapping abilities closer to the scene.

Also in the works is a gas project that will increase the capability to respond to gas-related incidents including oil spills. The project will help monitor air to make sure it’s safe for the public and responders.

Roth said one of his biggest current concerns is the dry weather conditions in eastern Montana. He stresses residents to use extreme caution while using farm machinery and enjoying outdoor activities.

“It’s really dry out there,” Roth explained. “The dry conditions obviously present a danger.”

He noted there are also flooding concerns in the area for this spring.

His office has been working on hazmat prevention and response efforts. Proper procedures have been discussed with fire departments regarding dealing with chemicals.

Roth said he has learned from experience to be ready for any sort of emergency. One year, the office was concentrating on flood prevention, but that turned out to be the year that the area dealt with a strong wind storm. “It taught my office to be ready for everything,” Roth said.

He reminds the public of the different types of warning sirens. The siren with the wavering tone is to notify residents that there’s a fire and that they should be aware of volunteers heading to the fire hall and then fire trucks responding. The second siren is for a natural disaster such as a tornado. This siren is a steady tone for up to five minutes. Roth said people should check news channels or other devices for emergency information.

Roth encourages people to sign up for the CodeRED emergency notification at The system alerts residents and businesses during an emergency. CodeRED can notify through cell phones, landlines, emails or social media.


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