Who Ya Gonna Call? Era Ends as Oak Bluffs Safety Czar Steps Down

After 38 years of service, longtime Oak Bluffs emergency manager Peter Martell is stepping down from his post. His proudest accomplishment? "Nobody's died on my watch," he said.

Storm Response Team Strives To Improve Communication

Each morning when West Tisbury emergency management director John Christensen wakes up, he turns on his iPad and checks the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s weather forecast. It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of winter or hurricane season.

Edgartown Unveils New Emergency Management Center

On Saturday afternoon the Edgartown Police Department held an open house, giving taxpayers a chance to see all the new bells and whistles.

Officers gave tours of the new Emergency Management Center and showed off the new emergency response boat.

Patrolman Jamie Craig, a member of the SWAT team dispatched to Watertown last week, talked about SWAT training procedures.

Emergency Personnel and Coast Guard Participate in Dramatic Disaster Drill

It began as a drill, and the more people became involved, the more believable it got. More than 100 public safety volunteers gathered Saturday for a mass casualty drill at the little bridge in Oak Bluffs. There were sirens, fake blood on the ground and children screaming in apparent pain.

U.S. Coast Guard Orders Increased Ferry Security After London Bombings

The United States Coast Guard has ordered the Steamship Authority and Hy-Line Cruises to increase security measures on their ferries following the terrorist bomb attacks in London last Thursday.

Coast Guard officials said they are not sounding an alarm, but are simply taking necessary precautions following the London attacks, which as of mid-day yesterday had accounted for 52 deaths.

Pandemic Preparedness Plan Thrown Into Temporary Limbo

A plan that has been in the works for three years to establish the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School as an emergency center during a terrorist attack or outbreak of infectious disease hit a snag this week when concerns surfaced among Oak Bluffs leaders about the suitability of the site.

Disaster Planning

Disaster Planning

The Cape Cod Foundation recently awarded the Cape Cod and Islands Chapter of the American Red Cross an $8,000 grant to support Cape and Islands disaster planning.

The funding will support the prepositioning of shelter equipment, supplies, food, water and communication systems to meet the emergency standards for an additional 3,600 potential evacuees in the event of a major disaster or emergency on the Cape and Islands.

Airport to Conduct Emergency Response Plan Test

The Martha’s Vineyard Airport in association with responders from the Island’s police, fire, emergency medical service and other service providers will be conducting an exercise of the airport’s emergency response plan between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, at the airport.

This exercise is a requirement of the Federal Aviation Administration and is conducted once every three years to assist in the emergency response preparedness.

Vineyard Leadership Fails to Agree On Emergency Medical Dispensation Site

A wide range of Island leaders — including selectmen, public health officials and police chiefs — gathered on Wednesday for a special meeting hoping to finally designate an emergency dispensing site for the Vineyard in the event of a terrorist attack or outbreak of infectious disease.

And although the meeting, held at the Vineyard Transit Authority building, was marked by a spirit of cooperation and good will, no consensus about a site was reached.

Between Island and Disaster Sits Peter Martell at Wesley Hotel

Behind FEMA, there is LEMA. And behind the Local Emergency Management Agency for Oak Bluffs, there is Peter Martell who, on a recent afternoon, is at the desk of his gloomy office at the Wesley Hotel, facing the door and fielding phone calls.

The room is lined with disaster management literature, Steamship Authority deck plans, stacks of Island directories and maps of flood zones.