Press Release: Mad River Valley Emergency Response Team

The Mad River Valley Emergency Response Team has organized in an effort to respond and keep operations rolling smoothly as well as support local community, organizations, manage volunteers and help establish an emergency management chain of command. Fred Messer of Waitsfield is the Emergency Management Director and Incident Commander.  He is collaborating with his counterparts. Jeff Campbell, Emergency Management Director and Deputy Incident Commander, in Warren. Craig Snell, Emergency Management Director, in Fayston and Stefan Pratt, Emergency Management Director, in Moretown. The Mad River Valley Emergency Response Team includes efforts to manage information and volunteers as well as respond to emergencies and events as they arise.

Anna Nasset, of Stand Up Resources, will serve as Public Information Officer.  Rebecca Baruzzi, Mad River Valley Community Fund, will serve as Operations Chief.  The volunteer efforts will be supported by Baruzzi and local nurse Jessica Tompkins.  Carla Messer will serve as Planning Chief.  Fred and Carla Messer report to the select board, to keep them informed and receive their guidance.  Additionally, Baruzzi and Tomkin will connect volunteers with representatives of Meals on Wheels,  Free Wheelin’ the food shelf and other social support groups.

Nasset is creating and implementing a comprehensive communication plan utilizing and working with; The Valley Reporter, Front Porch Forum, Facebook, Chamber of Commerce, MRVTV, WMRW, WDEV as well as state representatives to communicate community, state and national information.  This plan will be rolled out and communicated to the public in the next few days.

As for emergency organization and volunteer efforts, “we are working to make sure that our seniors, those with compromised immune systems and those in the workforce (food service and tourism) have systems and resources in place and  that they are well cared for, this is why we are creating a  system to streamline our safety net efforts,” said Baruzzi.

“We have tremendous assets in our Meals and Wheels program, Free Wheelin’ and our food shelf.  These programs have consistently preformed beyond expectations and we are reassured that their operations will continue with the addition of health protocols necessary in this situation,” she added.

The programs that exist are currently short-staffed due to the age of the current volunteer base.  The volunteer coordinators have asked that the public that are able to help go to The Valley Reporter’s website and access the google doc that is posted there. Those without internet access can call Jess Tompkins 802-793-1116 to be added to the list of volunteers.

“We will be supplying this information directly to the coordinators who will use the list to call volunteers, then train and schedule them,” Baruzzi said.

To receive Meals on Wheels call Chrissy Rivers at the Mad River Valley Senior Center 496-2543.  Those who need help getting groceries or medicines, please call Michael Bransfield with Free Wheelin’ at 249-3427.  The Food Shelf is open from 10-12 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  For off hours access, please call Johnnye Euyre at 496-9709

The Mad River Valley Emergency Response management team and volunteer coordinators are in constant contact with the towns of Waitsfield, Fayston, Moretown, Warren and the Valley Reporter.  Be kind, be safe and know that we are here and working for each community member.