The City of Memphis Office of Emergency Management is staffed with six operations officers. The operations officer is in charge of monitoring incidents, processing calls and dispatching crews, as the need arises, to various incidents around the city.
The operations staff continuously monitor for severe weather, terrorism alerts and other developing situations around the county. When the need arises, OEM operations is notified to assist with resources, dispatch and coordinate OEM field units and other agencies. OEM has assigned on-call personnel who can be dispatched as liaisons for major emergencies and disaster scene coordination.
OEM operations officers support Memphis Fire and Police by coordinating requests for assistance from public safety departments, residents and other organizations. They follow standard operating procedures to ensure that each and every call is handled in a timely and efficient manner.
Thanks to modern technology and an array of monitoring equipment, OEM staff can quickly detect problems that could affect the community with some of the tools made available to them.
Some key OEM tools for response include:
Severe storms and rapidly-changing weather patterns are routine in Memphis's weather climate. OEM constantly monitors approaching storms and other weather conditions in and around Shelby County using a state-of-the-art weather alert system of Doppler radars and text-based messaging system.
When weather conditions are ripe for potential flooding, OEM dispatches responders to assess flooding hotspots and provide the National Weather Service and SCOoP with information needed to activate flood warnings through the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
An OEM response officer is often among the first on the scene of a community disaster or emergency. They are on-call 24 hours a day to respond to severe storms, flooding, power outages, hazardous materials spills and other emergencies. Responders assess the community impact of an incident, and provide the needed resources from city and county agencies. Responders work closely with health and public safety departments, such as Memphis Police and Memphis Fire, along with County, State and Federal resources.