Ventilation and Water Supply Classes

The Watalula Fire Department will be hosting two Arkansas Fire Academy Classes coming up in February and March. Ventilation Class on Saturday February 22, 2020. Water Supply Class on Saturday March 28, 2020. For more information and details contact Chief Frank Theising at (479) 209-3777.

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Landing Zone Class

Mercy Life Line Air Medical Service will be offering a landing zone class on Saturday May 9, 2020. The classroom portion of the class will be on the Arkansas Tech University – Ozark Campus in the Student Services Center, and will be start at 9:30 AM. Instructor will be Matt Benzen, regional manager for Mercy Life Line. Aircraft and landing zone portion of the class will either be conducted at the Ozark airport or on the northeast corner of the campus in an open field.

Although responders have attended landing zone classes with neighboring air ambulance services, it is recommended that medical first responders, EMT’s and Paramedics be in attendance if at all possible for this class. Life Line helicopters are loaded from the rear, and a different approach to the aircraft is necessary.

Pre-registration is not necessary, and for those needing them, continuing Education Units (CEU’s) will be offered. For more information, contact Franklin County Emergency Management Coordinator, Rick Covert at (479) 667-4909 or (479) 209-0395.

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Structural Search & Rescue

Arkansas Fire Academy – Structural Search & Rescue will be offered by Chief Frank Theising of the Watalula Fire Department. The class will be taught at the Ozark Police Department training facility in Ozark at 2914 West Commercial St. at the City Hall Complex.

For more information and enrollment contact Chief Frank Theising at (479) 209-3777.

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Forcible Entry Class

Arkansas Fire Academy – Forcible Entry class will be taught at the Watalula Fire Department on Saturday April 18, 2020. The class will begin at 8:00 AM.

For more information and enrollment contact Chief Frank Theising at (479) 209-3777.

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Upcoming Storm Spotter Training Classes in the Area

Here is an updated list of all the area Skywarn Storm Spotter classes taking place in the coming days and weeks. We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to attend at least one, since some may not be able to attend one in their local jurisdiction.

Tuesday February 25, 2020 Sequoyah County (Sallisaw) Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Emergency Management office, 110 East Creek Avenue. NWS-Tulsa

Tuesday February 25, 2020 Johnson County (Clarksville) Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Johnson County Courthouse/Training Room at 215 West Main Street. NWS-Little Rock

Thursday February 27, 2020 Logan County (Subiaco) Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Subiaco Academey, 405 North Subiaco Avenue (near the Hwy. 22 and 197 intersection). NWS-Little Rock

Wednesday March 4, 2020 Franklin County (Ozark) Time: 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM at ATU-Ozark Campus, 1700 Helberg Lane. NWS-Tulsa

Monday March 9, 2020 Sebastian County (Fort Smith) Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Emergency Operations Center, 8400 South Zero Street. NWS-Tulsa

Tuesday March 10, 2020 Yell County (Dardanelle) Time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Community Center, 2011 Arkansas Hwy. 22. NWS-Little Rock

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Hybrid Cars and Basic Auto Extrication Classes in Mulberry

Two classes for rescue responders will take place at Mulberry Fire Department Station #2 in March.

On Friday March 6th and Saturday March 7th, a Hybrid Cars class will be taught by Asst. Chief Dan Cibik of the Branch Fire Department. Then on Saturday March 20 and Sunday March 21st, the Basic Auto Extrication class will be presented. For more information, contact Asst. Chief Dan Cibik of the Branch Fire Department at (479) 965-5607.

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News Release

Mullen Serves on IWT Panel

Franklin County OEM/FS Coordinator served as a guest panelist for the 2019 Arkansas Integrated Warning System’s Workshop.  The topic of this year’s workshop was Severe Weather Drought Conditions. Mullen (second from right) represented local emergency management while other panel members were from the Arkansas Forestry Commission, National Parks Service, National Weather Service, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, United States Forest Service and news media.  Mullen responded to several questions about burn bans; preparation for and response to enhanced wildland fire behavior;  hot weather search and rescue activity; use of broadcast media and social media to inform the public; impacts on agriculture; and, others.  About 75 persons from  Arkansas and Louisiana attended the workshop which was held on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas.

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OES Notepad

By Fred Mullen

All agencies who had responses directly related to weather events from Tue May 21 through Fri Jun 14,  you may be eligible for reimbursement under the FEMA 4441-DR Category A and B  program.  Examples of activities included are: Debris Removal, Rescue Calls, Traffic Control, Protective Measures, etc. Please contact me so we can include your actions in the claims. 

Unfortunately, FEMA will not be providing an Individual Assistance program for Franklin County.  We did not have enough residential damage to qualify.  Commercial and Agricultural interest cam file claims through the Small Business Administration.

Responders have been completing a lot of training recently.  Fire classes have been held at Branch Fire Department and Watalula Fire Department.  Last week, ten fire fighters completed the AFA Certified Training Officers class.  Two took the class for a refresher and there are now eight new candidates to receive their CTO certificates as soon as they pass the written test to be given on Fri Jun 28 at the Watalula Fire Department.

Eight SAR Team members attended the Arkansas Association of Search and Rescue Conference in Russellville last week.  The four day conference offered sessions in in Search Management, Wilderness Navigation, Wilderness First Aid, Drones, Canines, etc.  I was excited when I added it up, our group attended a total of 234 contact hours over the four days.  Four team members also presented Field and Management  topics. 

Agencies, remember, we are in fireworks season.  Live fuels are super-saturated now.  But remember after a few days of wind and sun, those pine needles on the roof tops, and,  hay will be ready to burn.  We have hit Heat Index of over 100, so be ready to rehab your crews. 

Up coming training includes: 1) Sat Jun 29 at 08:00  AFA Intro and PPE at the Watalula FD–POC is Frank at 479-209-3777.  2) Mon Jul 1 at 19:00 AFA Portable Fire Extinguishers at the Branch FD–POC is Dan at 479-965-5607.  3)  Mon Jul 1 at 17:30  AFA Ladders (part 1)  at the Ozark FD.  Part 2 will be Mon Jul 20 at 17:30.  Part 3 will be Sat Jul 20 at 08:00. POC is Nick at 479-667-7362

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Friday June 7 NEWS RELEASE

By Franklin County Joint Information Center

According to the Tulsa Office of the National Weather Service, flood water levels will continue to recede through Sunday.  However, on Sunday, the gates on lakes in Oklahoma will be opened which will cause the water  in Franklin County to  go back up to about 364.4 which is the current level at the Ozark Lock and Dam.

     Roads remaining closed in Franklin County includes Kenny Hole Road, Jenny Road at the 2000 Block, Kirk Road at the southern end and Sheep Farm Road at Hurricane Creek.

      Coon Tree Road through the Alix Bottoms is open but it is advised to use extreme caution because it is very wet and muddy.   Judge Rickey Bowman reminds citizens that the roads could have damage where the water crossed them and that they can be very slick.  He advises, “Drive Carefully.”

    Repairs have been made to Hopkins Street in Branch and it is open.  This street was damaged during a flash flood event on Wednesday afternoon.

     The City of Ozark reports that the East Side Park is open.  Mayor Roxie Hall reports that the Street Department and Fire Department are still involved in cleaning on some streets in Ozark.  All streets in Ozark are now open.

Franklin County OEM Coordinator Fred Mullen  reminds private property owners who have damaged property due the flood water to call 479-667-4909.  Leave your name and number and your call will be returned.  At this time, FEMA has not activated a program for private property loses but Mullen remains hopeful that they will.  He says it is important to show the FEMA officials a list of damaged properties and estimated dollar amounts for the loses. 

     If citizens need assistance with cleanup due to the flood water they can request it on the HELP HOTLINE at 479-213-6015.  If you want to help with the clean up call the VOLUNTEER HOTLINE at 479-213-6551. 

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Wednesday June 5 NEWS RELEASE

By Franklin County Joint Information Center

Flood waters along the Arkansas River continue to recede which results in more road opens. In Ozark, Bell Street at River Street and Main Street were opened yesterday.  Other openings  in Ozark include Bell Street  at Market Street; Spring Street and Barcliff Lane.  Normal traffic patterns  around the Post Office have been restored.  The Ozark East  Side park continues to be closed.  Highway 64 remains open as well as Hwy 23 South of the River Bridge.  Hwy 309 at Morris Creek is open but it remains closed at Smith Creek.

Rain is in the forecast from today through Sunday, but officials do not think that it will add significantly to the River Flooding.  However, thunderstorms are possible that often produces locally heavy rain on the already saturated ground, so flash flood warning for creeks, small streams and low lying areas cannot be ruled out. 

Franklin County Severe Weather Officer Rick Covert encourages everyone to remember when confronted with high water on the road way– turn around, don’t drown.

Judge Rickey Bowman reminds property owners who have had damage due to the flooding to call the Office of Emergency Management at 479-667-4909.  Please leave you name and phone number and your call will be returned.  Damage assessment for private property is being compiled with the hope of qualifying for the FEMA Individual Assistance program.  This program is a combination of direct grants to homeowners and low-interest loans to business owners, farmers and ranchers.

    President Trump has authorized emergency funding for public entities in Franklin County.  Government agencies who have had losses may be eligible to be reimbursed for 75% of their incurred cost. This includes cities, Rural Fire Departments, Water Associations, rural electric services, County Departments, and others.

If you need assistance with cleanup at your property due to the flood impact you can call the Help Hotline at 479-213-6015.  If you want to help with the cleanup you can call the Volunteer Hotline at 479-213-6551.

OEM Coordinator Fred Mullen wants to thank Simmons Bank, the 4-H clubs and the Gardner Center for  Tuesday’s wonderful luncheon provided to the emergency responders, road and street crews, administrative staffs and others who have worked on the flood event.

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