Dave Maxwell
Mercy Air helicopter lands in the parking lot of Pahranagat Valley High School to be on display before the Emergency Preparedness Committee public meeting Aug. 22.

A large crowd attended a meeting of the Pahranagat Valley Emergency Preparedness Committee Aug. 22 at a high school in Alamo.

The purpose of the meeting was to give residents a final update on the progress the committee has made to help all of Lincoln County, not just the Pahranagat Valley, be prepared for any kind of unforeseen emergency.

Numerous local agencies have pointed out no one imagined this Area 51 craze late last winter, but it has raised the issue of the importance of always being prepared.

At the meeting in Alamo, an update was also provided on planning for the September 20-22 events.

Pauline Broadhead, Emergency Preparedness committee chairperson, said being prepared is of the utmost importance in advance of any unexpected event. “It could be something widespread, or something that is just specific to you and your family only. We never know when some kind of emergency will occur. Who could have foreseen the problems that might happen when thousands of people might invade our county for this event next month?”

Emergencies of an unexpected nature can occur at any time.

Lincoln County is on a major earthquake fault line. A 4.2 magnitude earthquake occurred southeast of Pioche in late June 2019 and numerous dormant prehistoric volcanoes exist in southern Nevada.

The committee recommends all families have one or two 72-hour kits. These are the basic essentials and may vary from family to family.

The list provided by the committee includes 28 items that can be placed in the specialized 72-hour backpack, enough to sustain a person for up to three days.

Also at the meeting, the Mercy Air helicopter, based in Mesquite, was on hand for viewing in the high school parking lot and questions were fielded by the crew.

Flight paramedic Cade Randal noted that a new Mercy Air billing system for patients, especially from rural areas, will be going into practice soon.

“You won’t be getting a bill from us anymore,” he said. In arrangements made with most insurance agencies, the bill will be submitted to an insurance group. A patient advocacy program is being implemented to help the injured person and/or family deal with the process of insurance questions, not only for the helicopter transport but other issues as well.

Randal said, “This will lower the expected cost to the individual for Mercy Air services considerably.”

On another note, Pahranagat Valley Fire and EMS director Ryan Rhodes said a new EMT class will be held in October. Dates and times will be announced later.