Joint Emergency Management Role for CODC & QLDC

Published: Wed 1 Oct 2014 10:29 AM
Joint Emergency Management Role for CODC & QLDC
Neighbouring councils Queenstown Lakes District and Central Otago District have joined forces to appoint a joint Emergency Management Officer for the first time.
“We both had vacancies at the same time so it made sense to use this opportunity to create a shared, dedicated role in emergency management,” QLDC Chief Executive Adam Feeley said.
“This is a critical role in terms of our community preparedness and to be able to deliver that in a way that also provides best value to our collective communities is an entirely positive outcome,” CODC Chief Executive Phil Melhopt said.
Both Chief Executives said that the joint appointment would strengthen the relationship between the two Councils. Trevor Andrews will step into the position from 28 October 2014.
Mr Andrews is currently employed by the Northland Regional Council as an emergency management officer and group controller. He comes from a Fire Service background in New Zealand and Australia, where he has held senior command and management roles. His experience includes major emergencies such as the 2010 Christchurch earthquake; the 2011 Murray River floods; the aftermath of the Black Saturday Fires in Victoria; the grounding of the container ship Rena in Tauranga in 2011; and the storms and floods in Northland this year.
Trevor Andrews’ particular areas of expertise and experience are in incident command, but he also knows the importance of ensuring communities are well prepared with local plans in place if disaster strikes.
He says that Councils and emergency managers need to recognise the expectation and immediate demand for information during any incident. “There is an expectation within our communities and from the media for information to be readily available and up-to-date. Modern technology such as smart phones, iPads and the use of social media means emergency management organisations need to be particularly savvy in providing information during emergencies.”
Mr Andrews says he is looking forward to building on the work carried out by his predecessors who have undertaken significant analysis and strategic planning into Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago Districts’ unique and challenging hazardscape. He is also very aware of the importance of working alongside the business, commercial, tourism and agricultural sectors in the region to support the wider area’s reputation as a fun and safe destination.

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