The Lincoln County Coalition met Aug. 27.
One of the topics of discussion at the meeting was the Storm Area 51 movement, a Facebook joke turned possible national emergency. If only one percent of the two million that have expressed interest show up, the county’s resources will be depleted.
Given that the towns involved in the event lack gas stations, the other businesses in the county may find their fuel reserves running dry, leaving nothing for locals or tourists not involved in the Area 51 event.
Another concern is the issue of communications. If too many people enter the area, then all cell towers will be taken up with their calls. That will make it harder for first responders to communicate between the various headquarters around the county. Chuck Reifsnyder, along with a handful of other HAM radio operators, will be helping the various agencies involved in handling communications. Unfortunately, this kind of work requires many more operators than are currently available, so if you’re interested in helping out and are already trained and certified to use a HAM radio, please contact Chuck Reifsnyder at (775) 962-1384.
Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Eric Holt at the meeting said they’re expecting 30,000 people to attend but have contingency plans for up to 100,000. If the numbers rise beyond that, the situation may be labeled a national emergency and at that point would be eligible to receive more funding and help from outside the county. The ultimate goal is to keep county residents safe and hopefully limit problems to decreased cell service and some unavoidable traffic issues.
Other organization leaders also provided updates. The NyE Communities Coalition announced there is a possibility of getting a community health worker whose main focus would be on opioids and matters related to narcotics. This would include education and assistance, and would serve as a “linkage to care,” helping people understand what programs they need to use in order to alleviate their suffering.
Next, the coalition learned the office of legal and military services is returning to the county after a hiatus. This was extremely welcome news given that the percentage of veterans in Lincoln County is twice the national average.
Legal services ranging from will writing to power of attorney will be available Sept. 6 in the Caliente City Council chambers from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. While walk-ins are welcome, these services take time, and the legal advocates involved may get overwhelmed, so if you or someone you know wishes to use these services, please RSVP through Linda Rollins at (775) 962-1374.
Holt informed the coalition about some future projects, including a dinner for first responders and their spouses put on by the VFW Sept. 11. To RSVP, contact Larry Wimsatt at (792) 280-4572. Starting in October, emergency services is also planning on providing new fire alarms for the county, with help from the Red Cross and the fire departments of the various towns in the county.
Following this report, Janie Rippetoe with Lincoln Counseling and Supportive Services announced a suicide prevention walk Sept. 14, 8 a.m. ath the Linear Meadow Valley Walkway in Caliente. It was noted that in the past few years, interest in such events has dwindled. All walkers are welcome, and all donations will be accepted, which will go directly toward suicide prevention in Lincoln County. For more information, call Rippetoe at (775) 962-8089.
Loralee Cheney with Grover C. Dils Medical Center announced a Sept. 11 assembly on suicide prevention and plans for a golf tournament to raise money for a D.A.R.E. program in the county. The event will be at Coyote Springs, with various prizes, including a $10,000 hole-in-one prize. This event is slated for April. More details are available on the Grover C. Dils Facebook page.