Monday October 9, 2006
Louisville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis forge mutual-aid agreement
Just weeks after America commemorated the five-year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the cities of Louisville, Cincinnati and Indianapolis are pledging to work together in a major emergency.
Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, and Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson have forged a mutual-aid agreement pledging that, in the event one city experiences a disaster or significant emergency, the other cities would assist by providing police, fire, EMS, emergency management, public works, or other public services as needed.
The three mayors jointly announced the agreement today in each of their respective cities.
The cities are among the first in the nation to execute a mutual-aid agreement. The idea was first discussed at an October 2005 post-Hurricane Katrina meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and further proposed this July as a key component of the National Action Plan for Safety and Security in America’s Cities drafted during a U.S. Conference of Mayors homeland security summit.
“The lessons of 9/11 and Katrina are clear. In the time of crisis, our neighbors often are in the best position to offer the quickest and most assistance,” said Louisville’s Mayor Abramson. “In a disaster, we will save precious time and eliminate the red tape by having these relationships already established. That time saved can mean lives saved.”
Abramson’s director of emergency management, Doug Hamilton, approached the other cities with the concept of the mutual-aid agreement. Cincinnati and Indianapolis emergency management officials met with Hamilton several times to develop the agreement.
“We need to be prepared to help each other in case of some kind of emergency,” Cincinnati Mayor Mallory said. “It is important to work collaboratively now, so in the future we can respond quickly to any crisis.”
Mayor Peterson of Indianapolis said, “Large scale disasters adhere to no boundaries or jurisdictional lines, so it is vital that communities take a regional approach to emergency response. This partnership puts a plan in place that will allow our three cities to take quick and decisive action to mobilize and save lives in the event of a major emergency.”
Under the Louisville-Cincinnati-Indianapolis pact, in emergency situations, the three cities have agreed to help the city in need to the best of their abilities. The mayor of the distressed city would declare a state of emergency and contact the other two cities to request additional resources. The assisting cities will provide assistance to the best of their ability while continuing to provide for the safety and protection of its citizens back home.
The personnel and equipment dispatched to help would operate under the direction of the officials of the city experiencing the crisis. The cities have agreed to work closely to obtain any available federal or state reimbursement available to cover the cost of the disaster response.
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