Draper City Council honors emergency preparedness chairman and program
The Draper City Council recognized Col. Gary Vaughan, for his work as chairman of the Draper Emergency Preparedness District Representative Committee on Jan. 8. Vaughan is a pilot and is retired from the Marines.
“He did step up and take a second year [as chairman]. His talents are amazing,” said councilmember Bill Rappleye.
The committee has been responsible for a number of accomplishments in getting Draper prepared for a disaster, including organizing neighborhood preparedness groups, improving communications for amateur radio operators and participating in Draper Safety Days and emergency operations events.
“It's important that we be involved and take care of one another,” Vaughan said.
The committee has several goals for 2013, which include developing an amateur radio communications system that will parallel the first responder nets operated by the city, and conducting a citywide exercise that includes demonstrations to the public of the emergency response capabilities of the city.
“It's very important for the city to have this program,” Draper Mayor Darrell Smith said. Smith added that Vaughan's experience has been very helpful to the program and that he has “done a wonderful job preparing...volunteers.”
The committee would also like to revitalize public interest in Community Emergency Response Team training, which includes education in areas such as fire safety, disaster medical first aid, search and rescue. The committee's ultimate goal is to have at least one CERT-trained resident per block.
“I've never gotten anything but the greatest support,” said Vaughan of the response he has gotten from the city. “It's a great place to live.”
To prepare your own family for an emergency, the committee recommends putting together a kit that includes a General Mobile Radio Service radio, flashlights, food storage items, a solar oven and water purification system.
Those who would like to get involved with helping the city prepare for emergencies can contact Gary Howell, Draper City's volunteer coordinator, at email@example.com.