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    Knox Co. officials tout success of $500,000 EMA vehicle

    By Will Price,


    KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– With severe weather season now upon us, local EMA offices are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

    In Knox County, EMA Director John Streeter believes one resource in the community has them ready for whatever is around the corner.

    Several years ago, the county, alongside the City of Vincennes, spent $500,000 on a mobile emergency operations center.

    Knox Co. EMA Gets $11K grant from Duke Energy

    This can serve as a backup location for dispatch and help coordinate for large events, like the eclipse, but Streeter said it’s best equipped to help first responders when disaster strikes.

    “We monitor our community lifelines or our major infrastructure we have around that event or incident and we can give real life, up-to-date information to the incident commanders and emergency personnel on the scene,”

    But what does that look like in a time of need?

    “We can track things in real time,” he said. “We’ve got automatic vehicle location so we can look at most of the [emergency personnel resources] and see where they are on the map and share that information back to them.”

    The resource has also been offered to other communities, like in Sullivan following the deadly tornado in 2023.

    Knox County EMA Deputy Director Renee Schopmeyer said she was happy to see how this could benefit communities outside of the area.

    “It helped us being able to go up and help them, to be able to set up and be a command source for them as well. And we know that that will come back as well,” she said.

    Before the county acquired this vehicle, Streeter said all they had to bring on the road was a trailer that was inconvenient for the office.

    But ever since they began utilizing this resource, it’s made a significant difference– and Streeter also alluded to the work they did in Sullivan, saying many expressed gratitude for the center.

    “[Feedback] was very positive,” he said. “They appreciated us bringing this unit to assist them and help them coordinate that event. There’s a lot of emergency responders there that night and for many days thereafter, and weeks. We coordinated that everyday.”

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