ATOKA, OK-Atoka city leaders agreed to join forces with the county Monday by adopting the Atoka City Emergency Management Authority Trust or ACEMA. Officials said this new agreement will help emergency responders in the city of Atoka and throughout the county work together in times of a big disaster.
Atoka county was one of only three counties in Oklahoma that did not partner with cities for emergency management duties. But that all changed Monday night when city officials voted unanimously to adopt ACEMA.
"The purpose primarily for this to be able to be a conduit for federal and other state funds and grants...and to coordinate the county so we can have a joint city and county emergency operating system and emergency operation director," said city attorney, Richard Mayfield.
Mayfield authored the new trust and said ACEMA will help make it easier for both city and county to apply for grants because they will be doing so as one entity. He adds the merger will also help save them save 20 percent in operational costs.
County commissioner Marvin Dale said the new trust will also help emergency personnel respond as one instead of having several people in charge, just like when a tornado struck the town of Tushka two and a half years ago.
"There will just be one person who will be taking care of that instead of maybe two people in Tushka town and different towns and a different one from Atoka county," he said.
Dale said the new trust will also allow firefighters borrow equipment and call for mutual aid if they need it.
Atoka's city councilors were also designated as ACEMA's board of trustees. Mayor Bob Frederick was named chairman and Bryan Cathey as its vice chairman.
Atoka's emergency manager is Derrick Mixon.