Fleet Services and Emergency Management Committees team up for Pre-Congress Workshop

Karen Bloodworth
Technical Services Program Manager
APWA Kansas City Office

Have you thought about the importance of fleet services in local disasters, weather emergencies, or acts of terrorism? Does your fleet department have a policy for who has access to equipment and fuel in emergencies? Have you determined who has authority to make purchases and sign contracts during emergencies? What are your staffing policies during response and recovery efforts?

Following last year's devastating hurricane season the Fleet Services Committee discussed these questions and recognized that most fleet managers, and other departments for that matter, do not find the answers to these questions until they are faced with a disaster in their own communities. It was through this discussion that Fleet Services teamed up with the Emergency Management Committee to develop a one-day Pre-Congress workshop to provide some answers.

Planned in conjunction with the 2005 APWA International Public Works Congress and Exposition, "The Role of Public Fleets in Disaster Response and Recovery" will be held on Saturday, September 10, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This one-day workshop will include instructors from the Emergency Management Committee, and case studies from fleet managers and a director of public works that all recently experienced disasters in their communities.

The curriculum is designed to include information from the newest APWA publication Emergency Management: Developing Your Public Works Annex, a step-by-step resource guide developed by members of the Emergency Management Committee. Each student will receive a copy of the book; the cost is included with workshop registration.

The agenda includes an overview of the four phases of emergency management, and a panel of fleet managers that will discuss what went right and what went wrong as they dealt with different levels of disasters in each of their communities. The day will include the following roster of speakers and topic information:

The Four Phases of Emergency Management

  • Planning
  • Response
  • Recovery
  • Mitigation

Speakers: Brian Usher, Director of Public Works and Engineering, City of Zion, Illinois, and Chair, APWA Emergency Management Committee; David Himes, Assistant Director of Public Works, City of Nashville, Tennessee, and member, APWA Emergency Management Committee

Case Studies

  • Northeast Blackout - The Northeast Blackout shut down power in one town for an entire weekend. The fleet department found itself in a tug of war between city departments like police, fire, and public works; private ambulance crews; and even local media outlets for access to the department's generator-powered fuel supply. Speaker: Samuel Lamerato, Superintendent of Motor Pool, City of Troy, MI, and member, APWA Fleet Services Committee

  • 2005 Hurricane Season - Three back-to-back hurricanes and there was so much debris in the roads that one fleet department nearly ran out of tires to replace the flats. Mechanics and technicians worked diligently through the first two storms, but the third one was the straw that broke the camel's back. Speaker: Marilyn L. Rawlings, C.E.M., Fleet Manager, Lee County, Fort Meyers, FL

  • 2004-05 Record Snow Storms - Multiple record-setting snow storms, and all in one short the citizens, snow removal personnel, equipment and other city staff made it through the storms. Speaker: Richard (Dick) Miller, P.E., L.S., Director of Public Works, City of New Haven, CT

We encourage all of you to take a look at this can't-miss program and consider coming to Congress one day early to attend. You can also circulate this information to your fleet manager who will no doubt be interested in attending at least the Pre-Congress workshop. Below is a listing of other fleet-specific sessions that can be found at the 2005 APWA International Public Works Congress and Exposition.

  • Keeping Up with Rapidly Changing Technology in Public Fleets
  • Total Maintenance and Repair Leasing vs. Purchase: Which Is Most Cost-Effective?
  • Mobile Sensor & Imaging Data Come to Life
  • Using Technology to Measure and Improve Fleet Productivity
  • The Evolving Public Fleet Profession
  • Demonstrate Your Value! Activity-Based Costing for Fleet Operations
  • Where Will We Find Them: Recruitment of Quality Technicians and the Graying of Fleet Personnel
  • In-Sourcing as a Revenue Stream
  • Using Automated Vehicle Locating (AVL) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Optimize Fleet Performance
  • Creative Financing for Fleet Rotation
  • Super Sessions - Supersize your CEUs and earn more continuing education units by attending these two-hour comprehensive sessions that focus on today's public works HOT topics: Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations and Bad Behavior; Employee Retention: Your Vital Advantage; Innovative Strategies for Funding Transportation; Powerful Business Writing; Rebuilding Iraq; Searching for the X Factor - New Pathways to Respect, Credibility and Community Support; The Hidden Secrets to Double Your Memory!

There is still time to register for the Pre-Congress Workshop or the entire Congress. The APWA Fleet Services Committee invites you to be a part of this important educational event. For more information and to register online, go to and click on the Congress logo.

Karen Bloodworth can be reached at (800) 848-APWA or