Fire chief chosen for FEMA subcommittee

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VANCOUVER – Vancouver Fire Department Chief Joe Molina has been selected to serve on a Federal Emergency Management Agency subcommittee focused on emergency response training and hazardous materials incidents involving railroads.

Molina, serving with 22 others including two fire chiefs, was selected to the FEMA National Advisory Council RESPONSE Subcommittee.

Recent legislation directed FEMA to establish the RESPONSE, or Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness Operational Needs and Safety Evaluation, subcommittee under its National Advisory Council.

The subcommittee will provide recommendations to the council.

Vancouver Mayor Timothy D. Leavitt thanked the state’s congressional delegation, which submitted letters of support for Molina’s application, in a news release from the city.

“With the potential for the largest oil terminal in the country being sited in our city and thousands of gallons of crude-by-rail transported through our most densely populated areas, it is more important than ever that Vancouver have a voice at the table surrounding emergency response and preparedness,” he said.

“Vancouver is fortunate to have the opportunity to provide our input as a member of the subcommittee and ensure that our voice is heard at the federal level,” Molina said in the release. “Our participation will allow us to bring attention to our community’s needs regarding the rail transportation of hazardous materials in our city.”

The first subcommittee meeting was Thursday.