Contact: Kent Patton [email protected] 425-388-3883
Shari Ireton [email protected] 425-388-3377
Heather Thomas [email protected] 425-339-8688
By activating the emergency management system, Snohomish County can better use resources and time
EVERETT, Wash., November 29, 2018 – Today, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers signed a directive for the extension of the activation of the emergency management system to address the opioid crisis. By signing the directive, the Snohomish County Opioid Response Multi-Agency Coordination Group [MAC Group] will continue their innovative work to reduce overdose deaths and other negative impacts in the community. [A copy of the Directive is attached and below.]
“By getting all of our partners in one room, we are able to break down organizational silos and more effectively organize ourselves for the many challenges of the opioid epidemic,” said Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive. “The past year has shown that we can be more efficient and effective when working in collaboration. The activation of our emergency management system has been a key innovation in the fight against opioid abuse and overdose.”
“We are seeing positive results from the county-wide effort to help those suffering from substance abuse and the negative impacts it has on our community,” said Stephanie Wright, Chair of the Snohomish County Council. “This collaboration has been an effective way to line up county resources with common objectives. The council will continue to support these efforts to address this critical community need.”
“One of the advantages of having a MAC Group to address the opioid epidemic is that it strengthens existing partnerships in Snohomish County,” said Sheriff Ty Trenary. “From law enforcement/embedded social worker teams addressing homelessness to multi-agency collaborations addressing nuisance properties, we can tackle the negative, quality of life issues opioid misuse has on our communities and neighborhoods.”
“This coordinated effort has allowed us to gain access to new data sources,” said Dr. Mark Beatty, health officer for the Snohomish Health District. “By analyzing the information being shared from multiple agencies, we are better able to target our interventions and evaluate the impact being made in our communities.”
“Our City team is focused on providing pathways to treatment and housing for those on our streets, and collaborating with our neighborhoods and businesses to create a safe, healthy community for all of our residents,” said Cassie Franklin, Mayor of Everett. “The MAC Group’s work is crucial because the opioid challenge affects all of our communities, and we can accomplish more by working together.”
“Arlington appreciates our partners across the county and state who help us address this complex and damaging epidemic,” said Barb Tolbert, Mayor of Arlington. ”We are committed to staying engaged with this regional effort to lessen impacts on our community.”
“We appreciate having the opportunity to work closely with others who are facing the tough task of dealing with the human costs of the opioid epidemic,” said Bruce Stedman, Chief, South County Fire. ”For every person that our firefighters and paramedics help, there is a complex story that needs an entire community’s response.”
More details about the Opioid Response MAC Group—including its objectives, action team leads and future progress reports—can be found at www.snohomishoverdoseprevention.com.
The website www.snohomishoverdoseprevention.com is an information portal available in Snohomish County. The website—and accompanying social media accounts—were developed to be a one-stop shop for resources. Whether trying to understand the problem, prevent addiction, or save a life, this is a place to find information for that first next step.
Date: November 28, 2018
To: Jason Biermann, Director
Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management
From: Dave Somers
Subject: Executive Directive Extension
Opioid use disorder is a life-threatening, chronic medical condition that is continuing to have calamitous impacts across Snohomish County. Snohomish County continues to experience an opioid epidemic that damages our community and burdens local governments, social services, law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, and public health agencies.
More important than the impact on governmental and service agencies, the opioid epidemic continues costing lives and human potential. Although Snohomish County comprises only 11% of Washington’s population, the county has experienced 14% of all opioid-related deaths and nearly 16% of all heroin-related deaths within the last five years.
In the fall of 2017, I convened the Snohomish County Opioid Response Multiagency Coordination (MAC) Group to focus on using multiagency coordination tools to respond to the opioid epidemic in Snohomish County. Partner jurisdictions and other key stakeholders worked together to develop goals and objectives for reducing opioid-related deaths and collateral damage to communities. In response to the Opioid Response MAC Group’s initial recommendations, I sent an Executive Directive to the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management activating the Snohomish County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) and partially activating the Snohomish County Emergency Coordination Center (ECC).
Since I issued this Executive Directive on November 20, 2017, I have received weekly updates regarding the MAC Group’s work, successes, and areas of need. In the MAC Group’s first year, 63% of their objectives were completed. Some of the MAC Group’s key accomplishments include:
Due to the success of the MAC Group to date and our need to continue our collaborative efforts, I am extending the activation period through November 30, 2019.
An amended copy of my executive directive is attached to this memo.
Date: November 28, 2018
From: Dave Somers
Snohomish County Executive
Subject: Opioid Epidemic
The Snohomish County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) coordinates the county’s response to emergencies and disasters in partnership with jurisdictions and other key stakeholders throughout the county. The CEMP contains annexes titled “Emergency Support Functions” (ESFs) that assign roles and responsibilities to agencies and departments supporting the response.
The Snohomish County Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) is the physical location where implementation of the CEMP occurs. When staffed, the mission of the ECC is to ensure coordinated planning, information sharing, and resource prioritization and allocation occurs in support of response operations throughout the county.
On November 20, 2017, I issued an Executive Directive to the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management activating the CEMP, partially activating the ECC, and requesting representation from the partner agencies named in the CEMP to support the following Emergency Support Functions:
In conjunction with the ECC activation, I directed the activation of the joint information center (JIC) under the purview of ESF #15 and establishment of a joint information system (JIS), which is facilitating the delivery of accurate and timely information to the public and other stakeholders.
As of November 30, 2018, I am directing the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management to extend this activation period for one additional year through the date of November 30, 2019. I continue to welcome and encourage collaboration with jurisdictions and agencies throughout Snohomish County.
Below are the current goals against which ESFs have established objectives. Goals and objectives will continue to be reassessed throughout the duration of the activation.
Goal: Reduce opioid misuse and abuse.
Goal: Lessen the availability of opioids.
Goal: Reduce criminal activity associated with opioids.
Goal: Use data to detect, monitor, evaluate, and act.
Goal: Reduce collateral damage to the communities.
Goal: Provide information about the response in a timely and coordinated manner.
Goal: Ensure the availability of resources that efficiently and effectively support response efforts.
Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact Jason Biermann, Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management Director, at [email protected].
SIGNED this _____ day of November, 2019.