An assortment of community leaders met at the Hidden Lakes Community Center in Bunnell last month, with the purpose of educating residents about emergency response programs in Flagler County. County Commissioner Joe Mullins was on-hand to show support for the leaders, and also briefly spoke to those who’d attended.
George Bender was the first to present at the June 17th event, representing the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. Bender spoke to the community about a bracelet program in which family members could keep track of those with cognitive disorders if they go missing. Using a signal receiver, deputies can pick up on the location of the missing person within a mile or so, even underwater or into a building. Bender himself changes the batteries every few months, and the FCSO offers financial assistance to families who need help with the $280 fee.
Mullins was next up to speak, taking the moment to answer questions from the community and reiterate some of his priorities as a Commissioner. He praised the Fire Department, denied rumors that affordable housing was on its way to Daytona North, and described upcoming road pavement projects.
Caryn Prather was on hand to speak about her job with the Fire Rescue’s Community Paramedicine program. One priority Prather described was combating food insecurity in the community, even if it came down to MREs (meals ready to eat). Prather also gave out medical information forms for people to hang on refrigerators, alerting paramedics to any allergies or current medications that may guide their methods of care.
Jonathan Lord, Flagler County Emergency Management Director, spoke to residents about how his department runs (with only five employees), and detailed how to become prepared for hurricane season in Florida. Lord also spoke about a CERT class residents can taken for free in the fall, and about a free hazardous weather alert program which would send out texts when things got dicey.
Adam Mengel, a longtime Florida resident and the county’s Growth Management Director, was the last guest speaker on hand. Mengel briefly touched on permitting, planning, and code enforcement. He played off of Lord’s segment to a degree, talking about how major hurricanes tend to change the building codes with each significant incident.
The evening was supposed to also feature speakers from the Florida Forest Service, but Forest Area Supervisor Mike Roberts had to miss the event due to conflicting obligations.