Unitil, a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, recently held its annual emergency preparedness and response coordination meetings with local officials and provided tours of the company’s new mobile command center.
The meeting, which was held at Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg, Mass. last week, was the first to take place in person since 2019; meetings over the past two years were held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Police, fire, public works, municipal, and elected officials from Fitchburg, Ashby, Lunenburg and Townsend were invited to attend the meetings to learn more about the safety of Unitil’s electrical system, including emergency response procedures and communication protocols.
“We find these meetings are crucial because they provide important information to first responders and local officials on how we prepare for and respond to an emergency event,” said Alec O’Meara, Unitil’s media relations manager. “More importantly, these meetings give us the opportunity to hear from local fire, police and elected officials on any needed improvements in our coordinated efforts and communications.”
In addition to reviewing its process for restoring power, Unitil encouraged first responders to utilize its mobile reporting app that provides a visual in the event of downed wires, poles or equipment. “It is a wonderful tool, since police and fire personnel are first to the scene, so it helps us get the necessary resources to the location quicker,” added O’Meara.
The company also gave tours of its 35-foot-long, 11,000-pound command unit, which will serve as a mobile office and centralized communications hub, allowing crews to manage field resources and operations during emergencies.
“This is another tool that will improve our ability to prepare for and respond to emergencies, and this mobile command center will prove to be an important asset,” concluded O’Meara.
Photo Caption: Kashena Window, emergency planning specialist at Unitil, shares information about the company’s new mobile command center with Fitchburg City Councilor Sam Squailia, during Unitil's annual emergency preparedness meeting in Fitchburg last week.