Compiled by The Bedford Citizen
According to Peter Judge, Public Information Officer for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Bedford was chosen as a staging area for its Level 2 (Partial Activation) State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) because the town is adjacent to Hanscom Field/MassPort, and Bedford’s “relatively central location with access to major highways” facilitates deployment of the resources to the majority of communities in need of assistance.
The State Emergency Operations Center is operated with MEMA staff and state agencies including MassDOT, Department of Conservation Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Air National Guard, and Massachusetts State Police.
After a request from MEMA through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), the states of Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont have agreed to send a total of
- 28 front end loaders,
- 87 dump trucks,
- 14 backhoes, and
- 33 skid-steer loaders,
together with operators and maintenance personnel, to support ongoing snow removal operations. Additionally, MEMA is finalizing agreements with New York to deploy two snow melters from the City of New York to arrive in Boston on Thursday via EMAC.
A State Staging Area (SSA) has been established on the MassPort-owned portion of Hanscom Field [at Hartwell Road], with overflow capacity at Middlesex Community College [on Springs Road] in Bedford to receive and support all of out-of-state equipment and personnel.
The Staging Areas will operate on a 24/7 basis during the emergency. Out-of-state resources began to arrive at Hartwell Road staging area on Wednesday, and will continue to arrive there and at Middlesex Community College through Friday.
As the heavy equipment and personnel arrive, they will be deployed to cities and towns to assist in snow removal operations. As of 11 am on Thursday, MEMA coordinated a total of 158 active resource requests from 98 communities for snow removal assistance, including heavy equipment, snow-melters, and deliveries of salt.
- Heavy Equipment Missions – Heavy equipment missions have been deployed to 19 cities and towns in Eastern Massachusetts.
- Fire Hydrant- Clearing Missions – Massachusetts Air National Guard teams are deployed in 39 communities to assist in digging out fire hydrants.
- Salt Missions – MEMA continues to work with salt vendors to provide salt to 10 communities whose supplies are running low, and Bedford is among them.