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The Board of Health is seeking more coordination with Adams' emergency planning.

Adams Health Board Wants More Involvement In Emergency Management

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Health is concerned with its lack of involvement in the town's emergency planning.
 
After bulldozing through current violations Wednesday and closing most of them, board member David Rhoads asked the board if it would be beneficial to hold a meeting with Richard Kleiner, the town's emergency management director. 
 
"I think it would be worth it to meet with him because we do have responsibilities during emergencies," Rhoads said. 
 
The rest of the board agreed and member Bruce Shepley said the board in the past has had little contact with emergency management.
 
"I think there is a need to have the door open and have some very frank discussions about emergency management in Adams and what our role is," he said. "This is going on my third year on the board and it has been nonexistent." 
 
He said the Board of Health ran into issues with emergency planning last winter with the Memorial Building that the town wanted to use as an emergency shelter. The Board of Health was never brought into the conversation.
 
"They want to open up the shelter and we had zero contact with emergency management," he said. "I was not putting myself in a situation where there has been no orientation and I am not sure of the coincident of the emergency shelter."
 
Code Enforcement Officer Tom Romaniak said the building is full of mold and cannot house people.
 
Shepley added that he wished local emergency management was more involved with the Northern Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee. 
 
"It is a well-structured committee and has been nationally recognized for its work over the past few years," he said. "I am not sure why the town doesn't have more representation at their monthly meetings." 
 
In other business, the board discussed allowing the disposal of medical syringes and sharps at the new transfer station. Currently, residents are asked to take their sharps to the Tapestry Health office on West Main Street in North Adams but the board was concerned about having a local option just in case Tapestry ever closed.

Tags: BOH,   emergency preparedness,   

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