RBC gets $38k grant for services

RBC — John Hutchins has no trouble keeping busy.
“I wear a lot of hats,” said the Rio Blanco emergency manager.
Those “hats” include resource management and planning and keeping local officials up-to-date on National Incident Management requirements.
Hutchins’ position is funded, in part, by a grant. On Monday, Hutchins went before the Rio Blanco County Commissioners with an award letter for the 50 percent federal share grant, in the amount of $38,000, which is matched by the county.
“The county comes up with the match just by paying part of my wage and expenses,” Hutchins said. “I am budgeted within the sheriff’s budget. So it is not like they find new money for the match.”
Hutchins has served as the county’s emergency manager since 2003.
“The money pays for me to do programs such as coordinating emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response and recovery activities across multiple agencies and organizations,” he said.
Hutchins works with nine other counties in northwest Colorado to coordinate planning and share resources. He also is available to work with local industry in developing emergency response plans that involve local emergency responders.
“Overall, industry is taking advantage of my office and services,” Hutchins said. “Some better than others, as would be expected.”
Also Monday, Hutchins briefly told commissioners about a related group — the Northwest Colorado Management Team.
­“They will come help you manage incidents that are overwhelming your ability to do so at the local level,” he said. “It’s a real good group. They won’t come in to take over your job.”