Emergency Management Cooperative

Release date: 07/23/2013
Sponsored by: County Administrative Office

Enhancements to Washington County’s Emergency Management System Announced

Recently, with an eye for updating and improving the level of disaster and emergency coordination within the County, the Office of Consolidated Emergency Management (OCEM) was reorganized and will now be known as the Washington County Emergency Management Cooperative or EMC. OCEM was established in 1995 and has been working quietly behind the scenes ever since to prepare for an effective and efficient response to everything from earthquakes to terrorist attacks. Participating jurisdictions include Washington County, the cities of Beaverton, Hillsboro and Tigard, and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue—all of which have established emergency management programs.

Under a new intergovernmental agreement, Washington County will fund 51% of the EMC annual budget and house the emergency management staff at the County's Walnut Street Center in Hillsboro. The other currently participating jurisdictions will fund the remaining 49% of the annual budget. The agreement also makes provision for other local jurisdictions with emergency management programs to participate in the Cooperative. The new agreement began on July 1 and remains in effect for five years when it will be up for review.  

Washington County has a longstanding practice of creating community partnerships and participating in collaborative efforts that promote efficiencies and enhance services. According to EMC Director Scott Porter, "The beauty of this updated agreement is that other jurisdictions within Washington County can become partners in the Cooperative and both contribute to the strategic direction of the emergency management program and benefit from the expertise and resources the Cooperative has to offer. We want to truly integrate our entire disaster response system and incorporate all of our local jurisdictions into the plans, systems, procedures, and training that will make us as prepared as we can be for any hazard."

The EMC exists to coordinate disaster and emergency preparedness among the participating jurisdictions of Washington County. To that end, the EMC works to develop and maintain an Emergency Operations Center, as well as to prepare and maintain an Emergency Operations Plan and a Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan that are consistent with FEMA and state guidance. They also provide educational materials and programs that help individuals, families and businesses prepare for disasters. The EMC strives to ensure the county's planning is effectively and appropriately coordinated with neighboring counties and the state of Oregon.  

Media Contact:

Julie McCloud, Public & Government Affairs Assistant