Roger Martin to retire

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Roger Martin

 

A great 15 years as Emergency 

Management Director for Martin

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Roger Martin, who will be retiring soon as Crawford County Emergency Management Director, has presided over and helped implement many improvements over the past 15 years. 

“It’s been a great 15 years,” said Roger as he recalled not only numerous pieces of equipment being obtained but increased cooperation between several agencies as well. 

Roger noted that since 911 and the forming of Homeland Security, a lot more federal money became available for training and equipment. Crawford County as well as every law enforcement agency, fire department and EMS in the county received new and valuable equipment, he said. 

Numerous and 100 percent federally funded grants over the years has led to the purchase of equipment, including but not limited to, hand held radios ($5,000 apiece), mobile radios, computers, two thermal imaging cameras ($10,000 apiece), the creation of a Command Post, a hazardous materials trailer and a mass casualty trailer. 

The hazardous materials trailer and the mass casualty trailer are for large scale events such as a train derailment with hazardous materials or a school bus accident in which numerous people are injured. These trailers would greatly aid all other EMS, fire and law enforcement personnel responding to such accidents. 

The latest improvement for the public’s safety as well as the safety of emergency personnel is the recent acquisition of $237,000 in federal funding for upgrades to the county’s communication towers. 

Not only has much needed equipment been obtained over the years, but Roger said he is very pleased with the increased cooperation and planning between local, county, state and federal agencies and organizations as well. 

“There are so many that have come together and helped out that I don’t want to leave anyone out,” said Roger in noting that entities such as the Wisconsin DNR, DOT, State Patrol, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, National Guard, mutual aid from surrounding counties, local and county law enforcement, fire and EMS crews, the Public Health Department, area hospitals, and many others. “It’s been fantastic how they cooperate and plan together, train together and respond together,” Roger said. 

 Roger noted that Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution has also been a big partner over the years with the sandbagging and clean-up efforts of the inmates for floods such as the huge Mississippi River flood of 2001, the second highest ever, along with the devastating floods of the Kickapoo River in 2007 and 2008 as well as more recent “overland” flash floods causing damage in the city of Prairie du Chien, several county roads and Highway 35. “They’ve been fantastic on helping with clean-up after flooding,” said Roger about Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution.

Roger said that training for emergencies is constantly evolving. He cited training for train derailments and crude oil clean-up, ebola planning, and training for active shooters as three more recent examples. “The training has become interesting, yet very complex,” he said. “I’d like to thank everybody for their cooperation at the local and county level and all of the volunteers, without them we would all be in trouble. But, they all come together and do a fantastic job.” 

Roger also commended the local and area radio stations and newspapers. “They’ve been our lifeline to get information to the people,” he said. 

After giving credit to everyone else, and after a great and productive 15 years, Roger Martin also deserves praise. 

“We’re really gonna miss him,” said Crawford County Sheriff Dale McCullick. “It will be hard to replace him.”

 

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