EASTON — The Town of Easton is pleased to announce that the Town has been presented with a FY2020 Risk Management Award from the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA), the towns’ insurance provider, for its excellence in both compressive community outreach and worker safety training related to COVID-19.
The award was presented during MIIA’s annual business meeting at the Massachusetts Municipal Association Annual Conference, held online, on Friday, Jan. 22.
MIIA’s Risk Management team noted that Emergency Management Director Kevin Partridge, Director of Health and Community Services Kristin Kennedy and Town Administrator Connor Read worked together quickly and diligently at the start of the pandemic in early 2020 to keep the lines of communication open with residents all while staying safely distanced. The Town launched a COVID-19 website, information phone line and dedicated email that answered questions specific to the spread of the virus as well as Easton’s pandemic-related services and programs. In spring of 2020, before the Commonwealth aggregated and began to publish community-level case data, Easton was one of the first communities in Massachusetts to publish town-level COVID-19 case information to better inform residents of the presence of the virus in the early days of the pandemic.
“From the outset we recognized that this would be a time of great volatility and uncertainty for municipal operations and service delivery to our community, and so we made sure to prioritize direct communication not only across the town government but directly with our residents and businesses who have been so hard hit by this crisis,” Town Administrator Read said. “I can’t thank the Town’s staff and elected leadership enough for their team effort, and I thank the public for their continued resilience and grace during this dark time, which inspires their local leadership to do the best we can to serve them every day.”
MIIA also recognized Easton’s comprehensive approach to employee safety during the pandemic. With the uncertainty of the spread and understanding the importance of protecting essential employees and first responders, the Town of Easton created a detailed COVID-19 Action Plan, established local PPE caches to protect first responders against supply chain failures, provided safety training to employees, and issued robust policies across departments to address workplace illness, contact tracing, quarantining and isolation protocols, and PPE utilization/decontamination standards for emergency responders.
“Our personnel have been here from the get go, and they will be here until we bring this to an end,” Chief Partridge said, “There is no charge I take more seriously than protecting our first responders with the proper training, protocols and equipment so that they can protect the community and help us all stay healthy, and I am proud that our work in this important area has been recognized as we keep up the fight against COVID-19.”
“MIIA is a long-standing partner to Easton in promoting risk management, training, and best practices, so we’re humbled to receive this recognition,” Select Board Chair Dottie Fulginiti added. “The Board thanks MIIA and Easton’s Emergency Management Team – Town Administrator Read, Chief Partridge, Director Kennedy, Chief Sullivan, Deputy Boone, Deputy Carroll, Director Field, Assistant Town Administrator Blanchard and Superintendent Dr. Cabral, for their critical work to protect personnel and public services.”