Preparing for the worst

Published 3:40 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Sept. 11, 2001, had a devastating impact on people around the U.S. following terrorist attacks that fell the Twin Towers in New York, a plane that struck the Pentagon in Arlington and an attack that resulted in a plane crash in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

As people reeled, and as those in national and state organizations decided how to move forward and how to prevent another attack, the Commonwealth’s Strategic Statewide Interoperability Plan, and the state’s Communications Cache teams, were established.

The cache teams provide a fleet of portable radio or base stations that can be distributed to first responders to increase communications following a potential disaster or an event containing large groups of people.

Lunenburg County is one of five radio cache teams around the commonwealth, the others being located in Hampton Roads (City of Chesapeake / City of Hampton), Fairfax County, Harrisonburg / Rockingham County and Montgomery County.

Lunenburg’s radio cache team recently received $70,000 administered by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) to strengthen the team’s communication through radio.

Victoria Fire & Rescue Chief and Victoria Town Manager Rodney Newton said the county has a near 10-year affiliation with the program, beginning its involvement in the program in 2010.

Lunenburg County, in addition to having a radio cache team, also most recently needed its aid when searching for a missing 15-year-old in February of this year.

Though we hope that there would never be a repeat of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, we at The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch commend the county’s Radio Cache Team, and the teams throughout the commonwealth, for giving first responders the means to communicate on a mass scale if a disaster or emergency should occur. We also commend the Homeland Security Grant Awards program and VDEM for distributing funds toward these teams.