New Berkeley Co. EMD Director shares goals for first few months on the job

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) – Berkeley County’s newest leader says he wants to make sure its emergency management department is known for more than just preparing for and recovering after a hurricane.

New Berkeley County Emergency Management Director Will Rochester said public education is going to be one of his biggest goals moving forward, so people know what to do in case of an emergency.

Rochester said during his time as director, he wants to build up the county’s Community Emergency Response Teams, which gives extra training to prepare people for any future disasters.

During the first few months on the job, Rochester said he will focus on the county’s recovery efforts and how to reduce the impacts of a disaster.

He also said the county’s new Emergency Operations Center has more space and allows them to monitor more of what is happening during a storm, for example.

In the short-term, Rochester said he wants to build up how the department gathers information, so county leaders can make informed decisions.

“It kind of goes back to we’re always the Storm people, but what is the next public health concern to come?” Rochester said. “We’ve had COVID-19. We know Monkeypox cases are increasing, but what’s the next public health concern? We know there’s a lot more things like active assailants going on. We see that across the country. There’s a lot more civil unrest that’s going on.”

At the end of the day, Rochester said his job is to support the people of Berkeley County and whatever their needs may be.

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