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Ellis County updates its emergency preparedness

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Dallas area to be hit next?
The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE - County officials are quickly moving things into place to fight a potential biological or terrorist attack.

Last month, Ellis County Emergency Management Coordinator Troy Willmon secured $75,000 in grant money from the Office of Domestic Preparedness, a state and local version of the Department of Homeland Security, to outfit law enforcement and rural fire districts with much-needed preparation tools.

'This [money] is to supply emergency responders with better equipment,' Willmon told county commissioners.

Besides Ellis County, several cities also received money for emergency equipment.

The most money an individual city received was Ennis - the ODP, an

agency within the Justice Department, plopped down $156,000 for their efforts to 'respond to incidents of weapons of mass destruction.'

'We may be getting some more [money] down the line,' Willmon said.

Tim Gothard, an Ennis fireman, was appointed as the Ellis County Fire Marshal, a volunteer position similar to that of the Ellis County Health Authority.

The county's Emergency Management Department, headed by Willmon, will oversee Gothard's duties in case of an attack.

Health Authority

Adam Arredondo, a doctor from Waxahachie, was recently named Ellis County's go-to guy in case of an attack.

Some of the requirements for the position include sending physicians and hospitals policy guidelines. In other words, Arredondo, on call 24 hours a day and seven days a week, would be directing protocol on any attacks or disasters, such as a tornado.

Victims of such an attack, such as the deadly virus Anthrax, would report to a doctor or local hospital, and physicians would contact Arredondo for any directions and medical services.

Residents can reach Arredondo at 972-938-7319.

Local fire, police officials getting ready

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, state and local governments across the country have been securing thousands, if not millions, in aid to help combat a terrorist strike, or disaster.

Several local police departments have received money to upgrade their patrol cars; some are awaiting new vehicles altogether, such as new Chevrolet Tahoes equipped with the latest in anti-terrorism-related technology.

Red Oak, Ferris, Hutchins, Wilmer, Ennis and several rural fire departments have been authorized to obtain the vehicles.

Dallas area to be hit next?

In April, the Council on Foreign Relations published a report detailing the almost-exact location of the next terrorist attack - Dallas, one of five U.S. cities named by CFR member and former Sen. Gary Hart, was named as a potential target for a deadly outbreak of a biological attack.

According to news reports and an interview on Fox News, Hart, rumored to be in the running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, said he was almost convinced such an attack will be inevitable in Cleveland and in Dallas.

The CFR is a private-run foreign policy organization that boasts of members being in the upper echelons of the federal government, as well as mainstream media outlets.

Additionally, the recent wave of deadly viruses to creep upon American soil has put emergency preparation officials on high alert.

Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, post offices were shut down because of anthrax spores being sprinkled on letters - one such letter made it to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The anthrax, however, was later traced to the U.S. Army's top-secret bioweapon lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Hundreds of cases of West Nile virus and several incidents involving Monkeypox and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, have been making the headlines this year.

But one researcher, who said he has uncovered the federal government's involvement and creation of AIDS, passes off the recent diseases as 'fear-mongering.'

'The viruses we are seeing coming out of the woodwork will take some time to analyze,' said Michael Treis, whose three-part series on the creation of AIDS is set to be included in this newspaper. '

However, Treis was quick to point out the government's claims of diseases originating from animals, such as birds and prairie dogs, are covering up the real story.

'I don't think they [viruses] came from the animals anymore than AIDS came from a monkey biting a native on the butt,' he said.

'Although the smallpox vaccine they [used to] infect everyone with AIDS had been cultured on the kidney of the green monkey.'

For more information on the county's disaster preparation, please call 972-825-5000.

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