Thursday, July 9, 2020

PART THREE: City Leadership Operated Without A Pandemic Plan


At this meeting, the EPM was directed to update the Pandemic Plan that apparently had not been updated in years. Email communications reflect the Deputy Fire Chief reporting to the Fire Chief that, as of Friday morning, February 28, 2020, he had met with staff regarding Coronavirus and the need to update the current City Pandemic plan, which “we found is indeed badly needed.” He reported that the Fire Chief had requested that the EPM update the Pandemic Plan, that the Deputy Fire Chief had directed the MSA to start documenting and addressing the Fire Department’s preparations for potential impacts, and that the MSA would take the lead in the Fire Department’s preparations regarding the overall Pandemic Plan, and that the department had doubled their orders for N-95 masks. Updating the Pandemic Plan required each of the City’s departments to plan for the essential nature and prioritization of personnel and staffing levels in the event certain percentages of employees became unavailable (i.e., due to illness or quarantine). Staff from each of the departments spent time over the next two weeks preparing input, with a deadline of March 13th. A number of witnesses reported frustration that City staff from various departments spent most if not all of their time assigned to the ECC updating this “continuity of operations” information for the Pandemic Plan as opposed to tasks they felt might more directly help the City prepare and logistically facilitate operational response to the pandemic. The Mayor’s office was frustrated that leadership in the ECC did not seem to be making affirmative efforts to schedule EPC meetings or provide useful information to coordinate logistics City-wide. Witnesses reported that reports 10 It appears the CEMP overall is intended to be updated every five years, and was last updated in 2015; however, the Pandemic portion of it may not have been updated for a longer period of time. Another department Director reported having spoken to the EPM or Fire Chief weeks earlier about the need to update the City’s Pandemic Plan, prior to the local arrival of COVID-19 or a State of Emergency in Redmond.

--excerpt from "Independent" investigator 

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