Berea College, the City of Berea and Madison County have formalized an agreement to offer mutual aid in times of crisis, such as during serious weather events or other emergencies. While such agreements have been common between government agencies, this agreement between government agencies and a non-government entity is believed to be the only one of its kind in Kentucky.
Because of this agreement, resources can be more easily shared and communications and planning between public works, private entities, medical personnel, emergency responders and local government agencies can be more easily facilitated during an emergency. The agreement gives the parties the assurance that resources beyond their own are available and establishes the necessary protocols to call upon those resources and establish an efficient and effective response.
“In keeping with what Berea College is about, this agreement makes us and the community good neighbors—ones who are willing to lend or receive a helping hand when needed,“ says Lyle Roelofs, president of Berea College.
According to Lavoyed Hudgins, director of public safety at Berea College, “This is likely the only agreement of its kind in Kentucky in terms of the actual delivery of mutual aid in situations that emergency organizations are not otherwise expected to respond. A big plus is that Berea College is committing to help government entities in an emergency and not just depending on government to help us.”
Further, the agreement provides the essential foundation for further building an understanding relationship not only with city/county emergency services but all government services. Such understanding goes far beyond assistance in emergencies and opens a window for cooperative efforts in many ventures.
The agreement was signed on August 7 at the Madison County Joint Information Center in Richmond.