GRAND JURY'S REPORT ON:
FINDING 1. RECOMMENDATION 1B:
Finding 1. Introduced in 1993, California's Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS) is now being integrated into the government structure of Santa Barbara County and its cities.
Recommendation 1b: "The County Administrator and each City Administrator/Manager should address aggressively the need to incorporate emergency-related functions into the job descriptions and performance evaluations of county and city employees".
The City of Carpinteria's Emergency Plan, similar to the plans of other Santa Barbara County cities, provides for the utilization of the City's work force during and subsequent to an emergency. The City, in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Sheriff Department and the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department, strive diligently to meet all the requirements of the Standardized Emergency Management Systems (SEMS). We are supportive of the regulation and are involved in an ever involving process by which we update our preparedness for emergencies and natural disasters that, too frequently, befall our region.
However, incorporating emergency-related functions into the job descriptions and performance evaluations of our employees goes well beyond the requirements of SEMS.
Employees are employed with the City of Carpinteria based on the specific requirements of the job required by the City. In the light of Americans with Disabilities Act, the City must be ever aware of the physical requirements of a particular job. While the requirements of a particular job may not require physical activity beyond a certain level, the physical requirements of an emergency situation may go well beyond those specified in the job description. While emergency preparedness participation is important, it would not be in the best interest of any city to employ personnel based on their abilities to meet the on-going and, often changing, requirements of emergency-related functions. One person employed in a particular position may be able to engage in rigors emergency related activities, while another in that same position may not be able to fulfill those functions, yet quite able to fulfill the other requirements of the position. To differienate between two people within the same position classification is inappropriate.
Also, a person in a position may be able to fulfill emergency related functions, but leave the position and the new hire is not physically able to fulfill the same emergency related functions. The job description would either have to be rewritten or the duties reassigned. Such action is costly, labor-intensive and does not address the real issue: Create and implement an emergency plan that best
Grand Jury Response
utilizes the City's resources to respond expeditiously and safely in times of emergency to protect the
health, safety and welfare of the people who live and work there and protect, to the greatest extent possible, public and private property.
Flexibility is a key element to any successful emergency plan. It is unwise to encumber any city's ability to be flexible in the deployment of its employees as it has determined appropriate and beneficial to its specific community.
FINDING 4, RECOMMENDATION 4B:
Finding 4: Emergency planning is essential for the cities in the County. The City of Santa Barbara has a well established emergency preparedness program. The City of Lompoc has developed a detailed program of response and evacuation if Bradbury Dam were to fail.
Recommendation 4b: "To improve protection for Santa Barbara County citizens, the seven City Administrators/City Managers and also the County emergency officials on the Emergency Services Council should intensify mutual aid programs, coordinate resources within each city, and generate an increased awareness of each city's potential needs in times of disaster."
The City of Carpinteria agrees with the Finding and fully supports the Recommendation. Emergency preparedness is an ever-evolving process by which each city within Santa Barbara must be very aware, not only of the needs of the other cities, but also their capabilities, equipment inventory and personnel deployment characteristics.
The cities within the Santa Barbara Operational Area support a coordinated effort for emergency planning and response. The Emergency Services Coordinators from each jurisdiction are recognized as the primary emergency planning body for the Santa Barbara Operational Area and are charged with SEMS implementation and training as well as maximizing resources throughout the Area.
The Emergency Services Coordinators share information, data bases, resource inventory and emergency needs assessments with all other jurisdictions. After any emergency, a very comprehensive review is conducted by the Coordinators to identify critical improvement areas and determine improved methods, techniques and resource deployment.
The system, the seven cities have in place currently examines, on a regular basis, the specifics put forth in this recommendation. The City Managers, together with their Emergency Service Coordinators, will continually seek out new ways to improve and expand our preparedness for emergencies.