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Gov. Wolf stresses roles of PA Emergency Management Agency, National Guard in pandemic response

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Gov. Tom Wolf today stressed the critical roles the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and PA National Guard play in coordinating the state’s preparedness and response to COVID-19. He was joined at a press conference by PEMA director Randy Padfield and PA National Guard Col. Frank Montgomery.

“Pennsylvania has a great team working behind the scenes to coordinate our response to the coronavirus,” Wolf said. “I want to reassure all Pennsylvanians that we are in good hands with the teams at PEMA and the National Guard. The training and planning that they do year-round is tested during exercises, and all of that experience is being acted upon now.”

Along with the Department of Health (DOH), PEMA has been monitoring the virus since January, establishing the DOH’s operations center at PEMA before the virus was first detected in the United States.

PEMA’s Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC), typically used only during weather emergencies, stood up full operations just a few weeks later, supplementing planning and coordination efforts with staff from dozens of state and federal agencies, and partners.

PEMA works with emergency management agencies in each of the state’s 67 counties to identify and eliminate potential issues by providing the necessary guidance and support to execute their unique, local emergency plans, including coordinating the community-based testing sites in Montgomery County and more recently in Luzerne County in the northeast with the PA National Guard.

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