The mission of the Allegheny Regional Emergency Management Agency is to mitigate the potential effects of the various hazards and vulnerabilities that might impact the valley, to implement measures which will preserve life and minimize damage, to respond effectively to the needs of the citizens and local jurisdictions during emergencies, and to provide a recovery system to return the communities to a normal status as soon as possible from the effects of natural or man-made disasters, technological accidents, national security threats, and other disrupting incidents that may impact our area. And to provide training to emergency responders and citizens.
Our vision is for a less vulnerable and more resilient area through a comprehensive emergency management program which is built through fostering relationships that will be mutually beneficial without infringing upon the autonomy of each entity. It is through these relationships that we will nurture an environment of trust, respect, cooperation, and coordination that will translate into success during all phases of emergency management.
About Emergency Management
Emergency Management is a comprehensive, intergrated program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, for emergencies/disasters of any kind. No public or private entity is immune to disasters and no single segment of society can meet the complex needs of a major emergency or disaster on its own. As stated so eloquently by John Donne, "No man is an island, entire of itself: every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." When disaster strikes, the community is clearly divided into only two entities; those who need help and those who can provide help. In its simplest form, the bottom line of Emergency Management is helping people help people!
In every community there are various groups who perform vital emergency services dedicated to protecting health, safety and well being of the people. Police, firefighters, emergency medical and health personnel, public works, human/social service agencies and departments, all play a key role in response to emergencies/disasters. These are the first responders who, both paid and volunteer, put their own lives on the line to save others. Historically, however, none of these emergency service groups or individuals has the legal responsibility to organize all of the others in the community. No single group has the responsiblitly to work closely with all the other groups and individuals to develop, implement and test a comprehensive emergency operations plan. Also, no single group is responsible to see that during an emergency/disaster, the collective response of all emergency service departments and agencies will be effectively coordinated.
Emergency Management was created in 1978 as the lead agency or entity, to coordinate multi-organizational community planning, response and recovery. Through Emergency Management, effective partnerships are created and nurtured in advance of a disaster through the development of a proactive, comprehensive emergency operations plan. During a disaster, response and recovery efforts are coordinated from an Emergency Operations Center that is staffed by paid and volunteer personnel and representatives from all emergency service departments and agencies involved in operations.
In Pennsylvania, Emergency Management begins at the municipal level, as required by the PA Emergency Management Service Code. Every county, city, borough and township in the Commonwealth, (a total of 2,638 municipalities), are required to have an emergency management coordinator who is selected by the elected officials of the jurisdiction. The Emergency Management Coordinator's role is to develop plans, conduct training and coordinate all available resources in the community. The ultimate responsiblitly for Emergency Management always rests with the chief elected officials and governing body.