MEDFORD, Ore.– Almost 6 months exactly after the Almeda fire destroyed thousands of homes the city of Ashland is holding a forum to talk about what happened. Those in attendance included Ashland police chief Tighe O’Meara, city manager Adam Hanks, and several others. The major discussion was about the communication between officials and residents during the emergency.
One of the biggest topics: the Nixle alert system.
Tina Gray, director of human resources of the city, says the Almeda fire needed something far more useful.
“Part of the problem with Nixle, is that this emergency was so fast moving, it couldn’t keep up. So people were turning to other sources such as pulse point and police scanners,” said Gray.
The meeting also included a question and answer with city council and staff open to any Ashland residents attending the meeting. The city says new procedures will be put in place to avoid traffic, lack of communication, and misunderstandings during similar situations. Another issue the city says became a problem, was official verbiage that people might not have been familiar with. The city says it’s set up several links on its website to help residents understand instructions and key words better during an emergency. Those sites can be seen below: