AGENCY HISTORY


Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security has been in operation for 65 years.  The agency has continually strived to help Franklin County become better prepared, ready to respond  to and quickly recover from the destructive forces of nature and other emergencies which may occur.

1952 – The agency began operation as the Columbus and Franklin County Civil Defense Organization (CFCCDO). Responsibilities were the result of a volunteer group organized by Columbus Mayor James A. Rhodes to assist in warning citizens of expected air raids by enemy aircraft.

1953 – Large outdoor sirens were used by the agency as the primary method of warning citizens of enemy air raids.  Franklin County was among the first in the country to have an effective operating siren system.

1960’s – The mission of Civil Defense shifted to focus more on response to natural disasters such as tornados, winter storms and floods and less on enemy aircraft air raids.

1974 – The agency became the Columbus and Franklin County Disaster Services Agency (CFCDSA).  Responsibilities now supported a network of volunteers, amateur radio operators and professional planners to establish and maintain plans for local communities and first responders.  The outdoor warning siren system was reorganized to warn citizens of tornado sightings.

1987 - The agency began developing countywide emergency plans and first responder training for disasters including hazardous chemical incidents to help agencies better understand their roles should a major incident or disaster occur.

1988 – Political jurisdictions in and including Franklin County signed the 1988 County-Wide Agreement, changing the agency's name to the Emergency Management Agency for Franklin County. The agreement provides funding for the agency to coordinate emergency management activities for all 42 jurisdictions within Franklin County.

2005 – The agency’s name was changed to Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security (FCEM&HS) and priorities shifted to include more probable disaster situations that will have an immediate effect on the population such as flooding or terrorist attacks.

Present – FCEM&HS is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week agency that supports all 42 Franklin County jurisdictions before, during, and after natural and man-made disasters.