One of the most visible services the Romeoville Emergency Management Agency (REMA) provides for the community is traffic control. The volunteers, who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, typically assist with flooded roads or large traffic accidents. “The police will call us out if they are short staffed or if they know the investigation/cleanup will take a very long time,” said Emergency Management Sergeant Ted Kruczek. “Public Works has called us in the middle of the night because they have a broken water main. We’ll block off traffic and provide lighting for the repair.” REMA can override the traffic light system too. “We try to keep things from becoming chaotic.” It’s important to note that REMA are not police officers. “We don’t have arrest capabilities. We don’t have weapons,” reminds Kruczek. “We don’t go beyond our training.”
Another service REMA can provide to the community is pumping out flooded crawl spaces and basements. “We’ll only do it if there is six inches or more of water,” says REMA Coordinator Mike Littrell. “We won’t pump sewage though, only water.”
If you’ve attended RomeoFest in the past few years, you’ve probably seen their Mobile Command Unit. At the fest, the unit runs the lost and found, coordinates traffic control, and monitors the weather. If a situation should arise, that’s the place where those in charge will meet to discuss the best course of action.
REMA’s number one suggestion for the general public? Get an all-hazards weather radio. You can get one pretty much anywhere, including Walgreens and Walmart. “If you do have a weather radio and you don’t know how to program it, we can come to your house to do it for you as long as you have the manual,” says Littrell. A pamphlet is available at Village Hall with more information and guidance on weather radios.
“The volunteers at REMA are an invaluable resource for this village,” stated Mayor John Noak. “Their dedication to public safety and assistance is greatly appreciated.”
If you need to get in touch with REMA about basement/crawl space pumping, assistance with your weather radio, or have any other questions, you can contact them at 815-886-4085.
This article is part two of a three-part series highlighting the Romeoville Emergency Management Agency.