The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.
Published February 11, 2015
Gentry to take over as new county EMA director
By Dale Johnson
CAMDEN COUNTY – A new director for the county’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA) has already been chosen.
Ron Gentry was chosen last week to replace outgoing EMA Director John Page. Page recently submitted his resignation to the county commissioners.
Gentry is the former Mid-County Fire Protection District Chief and though he has been out of emergency services for seven years, it has always been something he has wanted to get back into.
The EMA director is in charge of preparing the county to respond to any large disaster, from tornadoes to chemical spills to terrorist attacks. In other words, they have to think of the worst case scenario and then prepare for it.
Though no official date has been released for Page to leave, Gentry is ready to begin learning what is currently taking place.
“I talked to John (Page) and he’s going to work with me to make sure I’m up to speed on projects he’s working on and other details.” Gentry said. “I’ll start going out there in the afternoons beginning this week. John has offered to help me in any way he can. We’ve known each other for many years.”
Every EMA director has their own ideas on what they would like to accomplish and Gentry has his.
“One thing I want to do is to map out where all the private tornado shelters are in the county. I have one in my yard and there are quite a few around the area,” said Gentry. “So if a tornado comes through we know where these shelters are, not to load them up with people, but to be able to check on the shelter to make sure a tree or something didn’t fall on the shelter trapping people inside.”
Experience with tornadoes in the county is something Gentry has first hand knowledge of with the tornado that came through the county some years back.
He said there were several people that were in the area damaged by the tornado who were on their own for several days. Emergency personnel could not get to them and they couldn’t call out for help.
“Emergency management has been doing some localized weather spotting training, which I will continue because I think that’s very important,” Gentry said. “And we might add some basic first aid and first response training also – neighbor helping neighbor. If you have a tornado come through the area and trees are blocking the road, it takes a while to get emergency services in there to help.”
For more information on the county’s EMA, readers will have to visit the EMA’s Facebook page.
Currently, as was reported in the July 23, 2014 issue of The Reporter, the county EMA website re-directs web surfers to a South Korean software company (at least we think it’s South Korea and not North. We don’t read Korean).
Once fixed, more information can be obtained by going to that website at www.camdencomoema.org
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