In February, Thayer Police Department was given a fully-funded Bobcat utility vehicle by the Regional Homeland Security Oversight Committee, for which Thayer Police Chief David Bailey recently served as chairman.
The region consists Oregon, Howell, Ozark, Douglas, Wright, Texas, Shannon, Reynolds and Carter counties.
Committee members include mayors, county commissioners, public utility workers, emergency medical workers, 911 coordinators, volunteers, educators, emergency management directors, law enforcement and fire chiefs, county health workers and Homeland Security Response Team members.
Bailey attributes his nomination to the position to having served 30 years with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, and working in all nine counties during his career. He also knew many committee members before becoming Thayer police chief.
"It was an honor to be nominated and elected by such a wide variety of individuals throughout the area," Bailey said of his two-year appointment.
The committee oversees funding from Homeland Security for equipment and training to make cities and counties more self-sufficient in the event of large-scale emergencies.
During his tenure as chairman, Bailey procured eight portable and four mobile radios for the police department, a portable metal-cutting saw and infrared imaging camera for the Thayer Fire Department, a cardiac defibrillator and the Bobcat for the police department.
The vehicle will be used to transport response equipment and personnel to incident sites that may have limited or restricted access after an incident or disaster.
"These types of vehicles were extremely valuable during the May 2011 Joplin tornado, as most roads were impassable by normal vehicles," Bailey said.
A heavy-duty all-terrain vehicle, the Bobcat utility vehicle can haul supplies, carry several passengers, tow trailers and use attachments. The Bobcat can handle heavy loads and difficult terrain.
Bailey also worked with Area G Red Cross Emergency Services director Janice Travis to aquire a Mass Care trailer with equipment to be assigned to the Thayer Police Department.
The trailer, loaded with $40,000 worth of blankets, pillows, medical supplies and 100 portable cots, will be available for use throughout Oregon and other counties if needed.
"The city was fortunate to obtain this equipment with absolutely no money spent by the city," Bailey said.
Bailey also thanked Hirsch Feed for working with the department to buy the Bobcat.
"This allowed us to purchase locally," Bailey said. "And the Hirsch family was very generous in the price of the vehicle to be used in helping the city in the case of a disaster."
The Bobcat and Red Cross trailer will enable the city to be better prepared in a natural disaster or other emergency, Bailey said.