County agencies revamp coordination services with new cooperative

Washington County has reorganized its disaster and emergency coordination agency. The result is the Washington County Emergency Management Cooperative (EMC), which includes the county and the cities of Beaverton, Hillsboro and Tigard as wells as Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. Its purpose is to prepare for an effective and efficient response to everything from earthquakes to terrorist attacks.

A new intergovernmental agreement signed by the partners calls for the county to pay 51 percent and for the cities to pay 49 percent of the EMC's annual budget. It will be housed in the county's Walnut Street Center in Hillsboro.

All of the partners have their own emergency management programs. Washington County has a history of creating community partnerships that promote efficiencies and enhance services.

"We want to truly integrate our entire disaster response system and incorporate all of our local jurisdictions into the plans, systems, procedures and training that will make us as prepared as we can be for any hazard," said EMC Director Scott Porter.

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