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Greenwich Selected for National Pilot Program on Emergency Response [Video]

Town is among 8 communities nationwide chosen for Community Resiliency System Initiative.

The Town of Greenwich is one of 8 communities selected by the Department of Emergency Services and Homeland Security (DEMHS) to participate in a national program that will review how those towns plan to respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters.

The Community Resilience System Initiative is a pilot program coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Administratation (FEMA) with DEMHS. DEMHS Commissioner Peter Boynton recommended Greenwich participate in the program because of its response to deal with the devastasting storms that left most of the town without power in mid-March 2010, according to First Selectman Peter Tesei.

The goal of the initiative is to review plans formulated by the eight selected communities and use that information as the groundwork for a national program for emergency response.

A commmittee of representatives from all facets of the Greenwich community, appointed by Tesei, will hold its inaugural meeting Wednesday afternoon in Town Hall. Leading the meeting will be  Boynton and Warren Edwards, a retired US Army major general who is the director of the Southeast Region Research Initiative at the Oakridge National Laboratories.

Representatives from the town's emergency services departments, Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich United Way, all utilities serving the town, as well the media including WGCH radio and Greenwich.Patch.com. Tesei said the committee will meet over the course of several months to devise the plan.

According to Tesei, "(it)is a practical way to measure where Greenwich stands on a scale of resilience, establishes tools and process that will help us reach a more resilient state as well as offering tangible rewards for our efforts."

He added, "This system will be of great benefit to Greenwich, as we have seen our community come under stress from multiple natural and man-made stresses in recent history. With a community resilience system in place, we will be better situated to both respond and recover from these stresses, to the benefit of our residents."

There will be little, if any cost, associated with the initiative, other than providing meeting rooms.

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