Welcome to the Linn County Emergency Management Agency

Linn Co. EMAWe are the “what if” agency?  What if the “it can’t happen here” happens?   The mission of the Linn County Emergency Management Agency is to assure the coordination of the activities of City and County government, State and Federal entities, citizens, businesses, adjacent jurisdictions, and other disaster partners, to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate major emergencies and disasters within Linn County.


Linn County EMA Summer in Review

With Labor Day behind us another Iowa summer drawing to a close it’s time to get ready for hoodie weather, football and the return of pumpkin flavored everything. This time of year is also great for reminiscing about all the fun and excitement that we’ll have to put on hold for another eight months. Camping, road trips, fairs, concerts, water sports, the list is endless!

For The Linn County Emergency Management Agency all this increased activity also means putting in some extended hours along with our partners in Police, Fire, EMS, and many others.

Here are just a few highlights from Emergency Management’s summer fun!

Marion Marathon 2015

20150801_082356For large events requiring close coordination of traffic, participants, emergency workers, and other numerous resources, Linn County Emergency Management brings out our big guns: The Mobile Command Center. This behemoth provides advanced communications support, weather monitoring, and ample workspace for command staff, event planners and technical support personnel.

The Mobile Command Center was utilized to help track runners, relay communications, monitor weather, and control medical assets for the Mairon Marathon.


20150721_143017Whether you go for the long hall, day ride, or just get stuck behind them in traffic the Registers Annual Great Bike Ride across Iowa or RAGBRI is a staple of summer here in Iowa. Once again Thousands of riders converged on Linn County, Hiawatha, and Mount Vernon. Once again, Linn County EMA came along for the ride. This year we were proud to offer up the agencies Mobile Command Center, Water Tankers and for the first time our Military Surplus DRASH tent system. The DRASH is a mobile, rapidly deployable structure with full climate control and generator power. It can be set up in minutes by a team of eight or more.


This year the Linn County Medical Reserve Corps utilized the awesome power of the DRASH system to set up an emergency cooling station and First-aid Tent for riders who endured the elements on this year’s ride.

 Squaw Creek Army Challenge 

20150801_1346062015 marked the 4th Tour of the Squaw Creek Army Challenge. With over 2,000 participants, EMA again deployed our Mobile Command Center alongside Police, Conservation, Linn County Medical Reserve Corps and US Army to support this huge event. In addition to the agencies regular support, our newest Staff member and  Kevin Esmail joined in on the fun this year and ran the 3+ mile course and obstacles.

 Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP)

20150820_082300Every year Linn County Emergency Management Agency teams up with NextEra Energy Duane Arnold Energy Center, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) and numerous other response agencies to prepare to respond to emergencies involving radiological hazards.

This summer two of the most notable Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP)  training events included the MS1 Medical Support and EWMDS (Emergency Worker Monitoring and Decontamination Station) Evaluations.

This year’s MS1 exercise evaluated Area Ambulance Service and University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics’ (UIHC) Ability to handle medical patients who may have been exposed to contamination from radiation. FEMA evaluators stated that responders passed with flying colors and went as far as to say “If I was a contaminated patient, this [Area ambulance and UIHC] is where I would want to come to be treated”.

20150819_125228(Above: Tom Ulrich creates simulated bruises for EMTs to treat while scanning the patient head to toe for possible contamination)

Meanwhile our partners at Benton County EMA conducted their EWMDS evaluation. When Emergency workers have to enter potentially contaminated areas to do their jobs we take great care to ensure that they are 100% clean before they punch the clock at the end of their shift.

The Vinton Iowa Volunteer Fire Department has undergone extensive training to operate the Benton County EWMDS site to monitor and decontaminate hundreds of emergency workers, as well their vehicles and equipment. Again FEMA evaluators had very positive feedback about our responder’s performance “This group embodied the concept of teamwork.  Everywhere you looked you could find one or two workers looking out for others by ensuring they were using their procedures or equipment properly.”

In Closing a big thanks to the people of Linn County as well as all those who work to support their safety and protection!

Medical Reserve Corps, City of Hiawatha, Hiawatha Fire Department, Hiawatha Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department, Mount Vernon Fire Department,  City of Marion, Marion Police Department, Marion Fire Department, Marion Rotary Club, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar Valley Amateur Radio Club, Area Ambulance Service, NextEra DAEC Emergency Preparedness,  US Army Volunteers , Linn County Conservation and the countless other volunteers who made this year’s Summer Events possible!

If you would like to learn more about our events and training, get in contact with any of the organizations listed above or get involved with Emergency Preparedness in Linn County Please contact Linn County Emergency Management for more information.

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