The Hempfield Township Emergency Management Agency’s (HEMA) mission is to reduce loss of life and property in order to protect the environment from all-hazards (man-made and natural) and acts of terrorism, that occur within, or may effect, the Township of Hempfield. This will be accomplished through collaboration to build, sustain, and improve our capabilities to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate hazards, by providing and coordinating resources, expertise, leadership, and advocacy through a comprehensive, all-hazards, risk-based emergency preparedness program.
When HEMA becomes involved in an incident, it is because the scope and scale of the incident necessitates assistance beyond local resources. During these events, officials from the Township and County (and possibly State and Federal) are also involved along with nongovernmental organizations (NG0s), elements of the private sector.
This mission will be achieved through coordination and cooperation of various Township Departments, Volunteer Units, regional partners, and other organizations that would have a role in any major emergency, ensuring that the efforts of all players are coordinated and synchronized to achieve the best results is the job of incident management.
Hempfield Township is located approximately 25 miles south east of the City of Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 76.8 square miles. The township contains the following communities: Armbrust, Bovard, Carbon, Centerville, Darragh, Eastwood, Emmonston, Evanston, Fort Allen, Foxtown, Grapeville, Hannastown, Haydenville, High Park, Hunker, Lincoln Heights, Luxor, Maplewood Terrace, Midway, Radebaugh, St. Clair, Stonevilla, Swede Hill, White Hill, and West Point City.
As of the 2000 census, there were 40,721 people, 15,997 households, and 11,597 families residing in the township. The population density was 531.5 people per square mile. There were 16,799 housing units at an average density of 219.2/sq mi.
Public school students attend the Hempfield Area School District, which comprises Hempfield Township and the boroughs of Hunker, Adamsburg, New Stanton, and Youngwood. Students can also attend Greensburg Central Catholic High School. Hempfield is also the location of the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
Emergency Management is a legal responsibility and
function of local, county, state and federal government.
Over the past two decades, federal and state laws were amended to include natural, technological and man-made disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery programs. National attention to emergency management began in the early 1950’s with emphasis on civil defense or enemy attack preparedness.
Pennsylvania’s Emergency Management Services Code (35 Pa. C. S. Section 7101-7707) became law in 1978 and replaced the State Council of Civil Defense Act of 1951. The 1978 Act consolidated existing state laws and updated the role of emergency management within the Commonwealth. Amendments to this Act in 1988 and 1989 further focused the role of emergency management personnel, organizations and responsibilities.
This state law requires that every county and municipal government develop and maintain an emergency management program consistent with the state and federal emergency management program.
An emergency management coordinator who is appointed by the Governor based upon the recommendation of the county or municipal elected officials administers each county and municipal program. The coordinator is an employee of the county or municipality and is responsible for implementing the program.