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Grant will help keep Oxford ready

The city’s Emergency Management Department was awarded a $15,000 grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials to help supply the area’s Medical Reserve Corps with basic first-aid materials in case of a disaster.

Emergency Management Coordinator Jimmy Allgood said his department and the MRC are building a mass casualty unit in preparation of a mass casualty event.

“If we had something here like the Boston Marathon bombing, as much as I hate to use that example, we would have these supplies on hand to treat 300 to 500 people,” he said.

Most of the supplies purchased with the grant funds will be for basic first aid, like bandages, gauze wraps and splints.

The supplies will be stored at the Emergency Operations Center, next to Fire Station No. 1 on McElroy Drive in a mobile unit that can be taken on scene wherever necessary.

“If we have a planned event like a Double Decker or a home football game where we expect large crowds, we can have this unit and supplies on scene in case they are needed,” Allgood said. “It’s all part of the city’s emergency preparedness plans.”

Allgood said he believes Oxford’s Medical Reserve Corps was the only organization to receive the grant. Last week, the Oxford Board of Aldermen voted to accept the grant that does not come with necessary matching funds.

During a disaster, the MRC volunteers help organize those who come to help aid the victims of the disaster, sending them where their particular skills can be best utilized. Throughout the year when there are no local disasters, volunteers participate in health initiatives and emergency preparedness programs.

The aldermen also authorized Mayor Pat Patterson to sign the Statewide Municipal Aid Compact, which pro- vides a way for cities and counties to request and receive help from each other when local resources are exhausted and approved, and adopted a resolution accepting the five-year Regional Hazard Mitigation plan that includes 10 counties. The plan provides a blueprint for community offices to use to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards that impact the counties and surrounding areas.