|Essex County Office of Emergency Management|
560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052
Sheriff Armando Fontoura serves as the County Coordinator for the Essex County Office of Emergency Management (ECOEM).
The ECOEM continuously updates the County’s Emergency Operation Plan (EOP). The plan is an all-hazard approach to any natural or man-made disaster. Every municipality is also mandated to have an Emergency Operation Plan (EOP). The plan identifies existing vulnerabilities and incorporates extensive planning in order to mitigate the impact of a disaster on lives, property and other assets prior to, during and in the aftermath of a catastrophic incident. Should a disaster strike Essex County, this planning insures that continuity of government and continuity of operations will continue unimpeded.
Over a three-year period, ECOEM has trained and certified first responders (police, fire, emergency medical and public works), government officials and the private sector throughout Essex County in such courses as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Awareness and Operations, HazMat Awareness and Operations, Counter-Terrorism Awareness and Incident Command System (ICS). These courses better prepare the responder to deal with almost any type of incident.
In addition to training, ECOEM has acquired and distributed vast quantities of emergency equipment and protective gear to each of Essex County’s twenty-two (22) municipal governments.
ECOEM conducts numerous exercises and participates in drills throughout the state. These exercises assist in training and test the capabilities in dealing with such events as possible terrorist attacks, hazardous materials (HazMat) incidents and a point of distribution (POD) for medicine, food and water following a possible pandemic incident.
ECOEM has acquired federal and state funding for a new communications tower to improve connections among local, state and federal agencies and to eliminate communication “dead spots” in Essex County. Portable light towers, generators, communication interoperability switches and evacuation signs have also been acquired and shared with our municipal partners.
ECOEM also trains volunteers in the municipalities through its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Auxiliary Police Training Programs.