Pontiac, Michigan -- Legislation that enables first responders to cross state lines to respond to incidents on a day-to-day basis without a declaration of emergency was approved by the Michigan House and Senate Thursday. The "Interstate Mutual Emergency Aid Act," drafted by Oakland County Risk Manager Julie Secontine, will allow first responders' credentials and licenses to automatically transfer to other Midwestern states when responding to a request for mutual aid.
"Julie has played a vital role in my administration making sure Oakland County and southeast Michigan have the tools we need in order to handle large-scale emergencies," Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. "If a Michigan community puts out a call for help to our neighbors in Ohio or Indiana or vice-versa, this legislation removes some of the barriers to getting that assistance."
Secontine is Michigan's representative on the Mid-American Mutual Aid Consortium (MAMAC), the organization tasked with removing barriers to multi-state emergency response. In addition to Michigan, MAMAC serves the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Kentucky. Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky are the first states to pass the authorizing legislation.
"We've seen in recent years that communities must rely on each other more and more when it comes to public safety," Secontine said. "The Mid-American Mutual Aid Consortium is working to ensure that states in the Midwest can help each other without having to cut through red tape."
Secontine has worked for Oakland County since March of 1989. She was a staff attorney to Chief Circuit Court Judge Barry L. Howard and a senior assistant corporation counsel before becoming risk manager in March of 2003. She received her law degree from Wayne State University in 1988 and her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Michigan State University in 1984. Secontine is certified by the Michigan State Police in emergency management. She is the legal advisor to Michigan Task Force 1 and Oakland County Fire Mutual Aid Organization. Plus, she is a member of eight emergency management organizations. She lives in Rochester Hills with her husband Randy.
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