New Years Eve Preparedness

As you begin making plans for NYE celebrations at home, Indianapolis, out of state, or else where; we remind you of these simple safety items to keep everyone safe during the celebration.

1. Know where your nearest exits are at all times.
2. Have a predesignated meeting spot, in case you get separated from your group.
3. Have cell phone numbers, for everyone in your group. It may be best to text if cellular lines become overloaded.
4. Stay Alert, Stay Sober and be ready to react in the event something bad occurs.

There are no specific threats known to federal, state or local law enforcement agencies, but we always remind our followers to #BePrepared. Large gatherings are always a threat in today’s world. Law Enforcement officers around the world will be working overtime to protect party goers, however each person has a responsibility for self protection by being prepared. Another important aspect of keeping the public safe is the #IfYouSeeSomethingSaySomething campaign. If you see something that appears to be suspicious or does not seem to be right, notify law enforcement so they can investigate. It is always better to error on the side of caution than not report something and it result in tragedy.

As we go into 2019, remember safety is your number 1 goal for yourself and your family. It’s always better to #BePrepared in advance.

From all of us at Madison County Emergency Management & Office of Homeland Security, Happy New Years.

Gas Stoves Should Never be used as a Heater

The Dangers of Heating Your Home With An Oven

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning. If you have a gas oven, you’re putting yourself at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning if you try to use the oven for heat. Carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless, and tasteless, so you won’t be able to tell if it’s seeping into your home. Moderate levels of the gas can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fainting (it is sometimes mistaken for the flu). High levels can be fatal. When you use your appliances correctly, you don’t need to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning, but using a gas oven as a heater is not the proper way to employ the appliance.

Unattended High Heat. Leaving an oven, which can create an abundance of heat, alone while active is very dangerous. If you have children or pets, they could be seriously burned through accidental contact with the oven. There is also a chance that something might fall into the oven or onto the stove (like a napkin or cloth) and create a fire.

Funeral Arrangements Announced for Fallen Firefighters

Funeral arrangements have been announced for the two Pipe Creek Township Firefighters who lost their lives on April 2, 2018 in an aircraft crash at Marion Airport in Marion, IN.

Viewing Information

Copher-Fesler-May Funeral Home
415 South Anderson Street
Elwood IN 46036.

Firefighter Kyle Hibst
Monday April 9th
1:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Firefighter David Wittkamper
Tuesday April 10th
1:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Funeral Information

Full Firefighter Joint Funeral Services

Elwood Jr/Sr High School

1137 North 19th Street  Elwood IN 46036

Wednesday April 11, 2018

11:00 AM



Any agency who wishes to attend the funeral are invited to do so.  Contact information is listed below for agencies who wish to be a part of the funeral procession.

Chief Richard Shepherd, Pipe Creek Township Fire Department
Cellular (765) 810-3979

This press release is sent on behalf of the Pipe Creek Township Fire Department.

Fallen Firefighters to be Brought Home Today

Time:  11:30
Date:  4/3/18
Release #2

Fallen Firefighters to be Brought Home Today

Members of the Pipe Creek Township Fire Department will be travelling to Ft. Wayne, IN to pickup fallen firefighters Kyle Hibst and David Wittkamper and return them to Madison County, IN.  The firefighter escort will travel south on I69 exiting at State Road 28 and then proceed west to Elwood, IN passing in front of the Pipe Creek Township Fire Department located at 6923 West Street Road 28 Elwood, IN 46036
.  Several local fire, ems and other first responders will be joining this escort to pay tribute to the fallen firefighters.

All News Media is welcome to setup at Pipe Creek Township Fire Department or anywhere along the escort route.   PIO Todd Harmeson will be available at Pipe Creek Township Fire Department.

Please monitor our twitter account @MadisonCoEMA for timing information.  At this time, we anticipate the escort to reach State Road 28 and I69 between 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM.    When the escort leaves Ft. Wayne we will have a more exact time frame.

Madison County EMA will be assisting with traffic control along St. Road 28 between I69 and Elwood.


– End-


This press release is being sent on behalf of the Pipe Creek Township Fire Department.



Project Lifesaver Announcement

Media Release                     March 29, 2018


Project Lifesaver Madison County Begins


Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger and members of Community Hospital Anderson and its Foundation, next week will officially launch Project Lifesaver Madison County.

Project Lifesaver is a community based, non-profit organization that provides local public safety agencies and caregivers with a program designed to protect, and when necessary, help to quickly locate individuals with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering away from their caregivers.

Project Lifesaver locator equipment will be on display and representatives from fire/rescue and emergency management services will be available for interviews.


“April is National Autism Awareness Month, and April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day, so it is most fitting that we launch this program on that day,” said Sheriff Mellinger.

WHAT – Project Lifesaver Madison County Launch

WHEN – Monday, April 2nd, at 2:00 p.m.

WHERE – Community Hospital Anderson

Café 15fifteen Mezzanine

1515 North Madison Avenue

Anderson, Indiana 46011


Questions about the event can be directed to Special Deputy David Kane at 765-623-9293.

Amateur Radio and Severe Weather Spotting

On Tuesday night, the National Weather Service – Indianapolis, IN conducted severe weather spotter training at Hoosier Park Racing and Casino in Anderson, IN.   Over 105 people attended this training to learn how to spot severe weather and learn the different between Watches and Warnings.   Our severe weather storm spotter network is made up of amateur radio operators who are volunteer members of Madison County Emergency Management & Department of Homeland Security.   On Tuesday March 13, 2018 at 7:00 PM, Amateur Radio operators will host an open house at the Emergency Operations Center (200 N Delaware Street, Anderson, IN 46016).   The open house is intended to raise the awareness of the community about amateur radio and introduce citizens to the hobby.   We hope to pack the house with people interested to learn more about becoming a “Ham Radio Operator”.  

At our severe weather training on Tuesday, here is a break down of the attendees:

Madison County EMA and County Amateur Radio Club members

City of Anderson

City of Alexandria  (Mayor!)

Madison County Sheriff Dept.

Green Township Trustee

Madison County Central Communications Center

Indiana Department of Homeland Security

Indiana Department of Corrections

Adams Twp Fire Dept.

Edgewood Fire Dept.

Richland Twp Fire Dept.

Chesterfield Fire Dept.

Anderson Herald Bulletin

WoofBoom Radio

Hoosier Park Fire & Bldg Safety

American Red Cross

Civilian Crisis Response Team

EMAS Ambulance Service

BI Inc

Borg Warner

When all else fails, there is Amateur Radio

Ham Radio in Emergency Operation


Many people grew up hearing about disasters in far-off lands and how amateur (ham) radio operators were initially the only means of contact with the outside world. Disasters, both near and far, still occur today, and ham radio operators continue to volunteer their skills and personal radio equipment to serve the public. From a planning and operations perspective, emergency management professionals must effectively include these volunteer resources into comprehensive emergency management plans (CEMPs).

Ham radio was the original electronic “social media” with initial contacts between radio stations taking place in the 1890s. Federal licensing of ham radio stations began after The Radio Act of 1912 was passed, and today all ham radio stations are strictly regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under US 47 CFR §97.

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL), a ham radio member-society founded in 1914, established the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in 1935. This standby radio service consists of “licensed amateur radio operators who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment with their local ARES leadership for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes.”

In 1952, the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) was developed as a standby Civil Defense radio service governed by the FCC under US 47 CFR §97.407. RACES is activated by emergency managers in local, county, tribal, and state jurisdictions, uses Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) protocols, and are the only ham radio operators authorized to transmit during declared emergencies when the president of the United States specifically invokes powers granted under 47 U.S.C. §606.

 Understanding This Communications Resource

Ham radio operators come in all ages and from all lifestyles, and are essentially neighbors in the community. Each licensee has passed one or more extensive knowledge tests covering a multitude of topics, including FCC rules, operator and station license responsibilities, operating procedures and practices, radio propagation, electrical principles and electronic circuits, common transmitter and receiver problems, antenna measurements and troubleshooting, basic repair and testing, non-voice communications, antennas and feed lines, AC power circuits, and safety.

Since ham radio is their hobby, many hams have decades of radio communications experience. Some may have professional broadcasting experience, and others may be current/former first responders. In standards that have arisen with the introduction of the National Incident Management System, ARES and RACES members may also:

  • Be registered emergency/disaster workers under state law;
  • Possess certificates for (sometimes many) FEMA training classes;
  • Have passed law enforcement background checks; and
  • May be engaged in other volunteer activities such as Search and Rescue (SAR) or Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).
If you are interested to learn more about Amateur Radio, come to our open house OR submit your information and we will follow up with you soon.

What if you had to evacuate immediately, ARE YOU PREPARED?


Have you ever given it any thought, what if we had to evacuate our house immediately?   With all of the hazardous chemicals transported daily, the risk of an evacuation being ordered due to a chemical incident is not unreal.  In addition to chemicals, evacuations may be ordered due to fires, severe weather or acts of terrorism.  Here are some recent headlines from across the country where evacuations were ordered.

February 12, 2018 Diamond Bar, California – Evacuation order lifted after explosion on semi-truck carrying hydrogen tanks in Diamond Bar

February 12, 2018 Nevada, IA – Nevada high, middle schools evacuated after emailed threat

February 7, 2018 Norton, Massachusetts – Chemicals force the evacuation of homes near an industrial facility

January 14, 2018 Midland, Texas – Chemical Fire Forces Evacuation in Midland

January 10, 2018 Jackson County, IN – All lanes on I65 closed and evacuation ordered after chemical fire erupts in a semi trailer

One thing these evacuations all had in common, they were fast acting evacuations.   What we mean by that, you have just minutes to prepare and get out of your home or business when this type of evacuation is ordered.   Now is the time to prepare for an evacuation, before the order is given.  Here are some useful tips to follow before, during and after an evacuation.

Before an Evacuation

  • Learn the types of disasters that are likely in your community and the local emergency, evacuation, and shelter plans for each specific disaster.
  • Plan how you will leave and where you will go if you are advised to evacuate.
    • Identify several places you could go in an emergency such as a friend’s home in another town or a motel. Choose destinations in different directions so that you have options during an emergency.
    • If needed, identify a place to stay that will accept pets. Most public shelters allow only service animals.
    • Be familiar with alternate routes and other means of transportation out of your area.
    • Always follow the instructions of local officials and remember that your evacuation route may be on foot depending on the type of disaster.
  • Develop a family/household communication and re-unification plan so that you can maintain contact and take the best actions for each of you and re-unite if you are separated.
  • Assemble supplies that are ready for evacuation, both a “go-bag” you can carry when you evacuate on foot or public transportation and supplies for traveling by longer distances if you have a personal vehicle.
  • If you have a car:
    • Keep a full tank of gas in it if an evacuation seems likely. Keep a half tank of gas in it at all times in case of an unexpected need to evacuate. Gas stations may be closed during emergencies and unable to pump gas during power outages. Plan to take one car per family to reduce congestion and delay.
    • Make sure you have a portable emergency kit in the car.
  • If you do not have a car, plan how you will leave if needed. Make arrangements with family, friends or your local government.

During an Evacuation

  • A list of open shelters can be found on
  • Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow local evacuation instructions.
  • Take your emergency supply kit.
  • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
  • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency now.
  • If time allows:
    • Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
    • Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
    • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
    • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
    • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.
    • Check with neighbors who may need a ride.
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
  • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.

After an Evacuation

If you evacuated for the storm, check with local officials both where you’re staying and back home before you travel.

  • Residents returning to disaster-affected areas after significant events should expect and prepare for disruptions to daily activities, and remember that returning home before storm debris is cleared is dangerous.
  • Let friends and family know before you leave and when you arrive.
  • Charge devices and consider getting back-up batteries in case power-outages continue.
  • Fill up your gas tank and consider downloading a fuel app to check for outages along your route.
  • Bring supplies such as water and non-perishable food for the car ride.
  • Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage.
  • Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
  • Only use generators away from your home and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.