Emergency Management Agency
The Bedford County Emergency Management Agency (BCEMA) is an office under the direction and control of the County Mayor. BCEMA provides county-wide emergency management program leadership, continuity, and direction to enable Bedford County and its partners to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the impact of natural, man-made, or technological disasters involving residents and/or property.
BCEMA was originally established in the late 1960s as a Civil Defense agency. This era was during the Cold War when the United States and the Soviet Union faced each other with large nuclear weapons arsenals. Emphasis was placed on training citizens to initially survive a nuclear attack and then to have stockpiled provisions to survive during the aftermath and recovery. The mission of BCEMA evolved into more than just preparation for nuclear war. It became responsible for facilitating the protection for county residents from natural, man-made, and weapons of mass destruction disasters. This includes, for example, hazardous chemical spills, severe weather disasters, and biological weapon attacks.
Laws and Codes:
Tennessee law requires all counties to establish an EMA office. A Bedford County Commission resolution enacts the law's requirements and also gives BCEMA responsibility for facilitating Homeland Security matters. Cities are not required to establish EMA offices. BCEMA also serves the cities and towns within Bedford County.
What we do:
- Develop and maintain all local emergency management programs, projects, and plans required by state and federal government
- Maintain the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for Bedford County and the cities within Bedford County
- Provide 24-hour coordination of resources for large emergencies and disasters
- Provide 24-hour emergency coordination for multiple response agencies
- Provide liaison with local, state and federal authorities during major emergencies and disasters
- Develop, coordinate and conduct emergency management training and exercise programs
- Develop and distribute emergency management presentations, brochures, pamphlets, public service announcements and other relevant information for civic organizations, businesses, and the general public