- Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
- Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
Media Contact for Governor Baker Authorizes MEMA to Send Emergency Workers to Rhode Island to Assist with Gas Incident
Christopher Besse, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
FRAMINGHAM — Governor Charlie Baker has authorized the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to send a six person team from MEMA and an 11 person regional Incident Management Team to Rhode Island to assist with response and recovery efforts for their ongoing Aquidneck Island Gas Incident. The request for assistance from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency was made directly to MEMA and will be facilitated through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which is the national emergency management mutual aid system that facilitates state-to-state disaster assistance.
“Last year, MEMA deployed staff to Florida, Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Virginia, Hawaii and FEMA Headquarters to assist in the aftermath of natural disasters, and we are proud to continue to support this tradition of providing aid to others in need,” said Secretary of Public Safety Tom Turco. “We are thankful for these emergency management personnel who have offered to assist in this response effort.”
“State-to-state mutual aid through EMAC is an important part of our emergency management system,” said MEMA Director Kurt Schwartz. “Massachusetts has previously been both the recipient and provider of EMAC assistance and we look for opportunities to deploy our experienced and dedicated staff to other states to support their disaster response and recovery operations.”
Six MEMA employees deployed on January 23rd to assist the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency with planning, logistics, and operations. The team will remain deployed in Rhode Island as needed, up to seven days.
The 11 person Northwest Massachusetts Incident Management Team (IMT) deployed on January 23rd to assist the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency with planning, logistics, and operations. The team will remain deployed in Rhode Island as needed, up to seven days.
MEMA remains in contact with public safety officials in Rhode Island and has expressed willingness to provide additional support, if needed.
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is an interstate mutual aid agreement among all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. EMAC enables the Governor (through State Emergency Management officials) to request disaster assistance such as personnel and equipment from other states before, during, or after a disaster. Impacted states looking for assistance broadcast resource requests through the EMAC system and other states may offer to fill the request if they have the necessary resources. The requesting state then chooses which assisting state’s offer to accept. The requesting state is responsible for reimbursing the sending state for associated expenses.
MEMA is the state agency charged with ensuring the state is prepared to withstand, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies and disasters, including natural hazards, accidents, deliberate attacks, and technological and infrastructure failures. MEMA's staff of professional planners, communications specialists and operations and support personnel is committed to an all hazards approach to emergency management. By building and sustaining effective partnerships with federal, state and local government agencies, and with the private sector - individuals, families, non-profits and businesses - MEMA ensures the Commonwealth's ability to rapidly recover from large and small disasters by assessing and mitigating threats and hazards, enhancing preparedness, ensuring effective response, and strengthening our capacity to rebuild and recover. For additional information about MEMA and Emergency Preparedness, go to www.mass.gov/mema.
Massachusetts Alerts: to receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the free Massachusetts Alerts app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp.