2019 Achievement Award winner - Town of Eutawville
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The Town of Eutawville received a Municipal Achievement Award for its Community Emergency Response Team. Officials accepted the award during the Municipal Association of South Carolina’s Annual Meeting on July 20. The town won in the 1 – 1,000 population category. Twenty-nine cities and towns submitted their projects and initiatives. 

Aiming to enhance its public safety services, the Town of Eutawville knew it faced the challenge of restricted resources, including limited funding, as well as the need to foster collaboration between its services and those of Orangeburg County. With these goals in mind, town leaders created the Eutawville Community Emergency Response Team, a way of pulling together local, state and federal agencies with the aim of placing trained residents in every neighborhood.

Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, CERT teams have been established by communities in all 50 states as a way of improving the working relationships between public safety agencies and the residents they serve. The Eutawville CERT created a concerned citizens group to discuss and research the public safety needs specific to the community.

The Eutawville team’s initial efforts included conducting stakeholder meetings, assembling volunteers and creating a leadership structure. Recruitment marketing efforts ranged from online material to the team’s participation in the Town of Eutawville’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Training came from multiple organizations, including the Eutawville Police Department and Eutawville Fire Department. The Orangeburg County Office of Emergency Services provided disaster preparedness and even coordinated a disaster response simulation at the Eutawville Community Center, and the Orangeburg County Emergency Medical Services trained participants in CPR and first aid.

In 2019, the team is focusing on more intensive medical training including first aid and CPR, increasing recruitment, involving more surrounding communities in the effort, and in supporting a Eutawville Fire Department project that promotes community fire safety and distributes smoke detectors.

“Town leaders in Eutawville were successful with local collaboration in enhancing its public safety services and community presence,” said Eric Budds, interim executive director for the Municipal Association.

These winning entries represent innovative projects undertaken by Municipal Association member cities and towns. Information and a video about the project are available on the Association’s website (keyword: Achievement Awards).  

The Municipal Association of South Carolina initiated the Achievement Awards in 1987 to recognize and encourage innovations and excellence in local government.