5502.27 Regional authority for emergency management.

(A) In lieu of establishing a countywide emergency management agency under section 5502.26 of the Revised Code, the boards of county commissioners of two or more counties, with the consent of the chief executives of a majority of the participating political subdivisions of each county involved, may enter into a written agreement establishing a regional authority for emergency management.

A representative from each political subdivision entering into the agreement, selected by the political subdivision's chief executive, shall constitute a regional advisory group for the purpose of appointing an executive committee under this section through which the regional authority shall implement emergency management in the counties in accordance with this section and for the purpose of advising the executive committee on matters pertaining to regional emergency management. The executive committee shall consist of at least the following nine members: two county commissioners representing the boards of county commissioners entering into the agreement; six chief executives representing the municipal corporations and townships entering into the agreement; and one nonelected representative. The regional agreement shall specify how many additional members, if any, shall serve on the executive committee and their manner of selection.

The authority shall be supported financially by the political subdivisions entering into the regional agreement. The executive committee shall appoint a director/coordinator of emergency management who shall pursue a professional development training program in accordance with rules adopted under section 5502.25 of the Revised Code. The director/coordinator of emergency management may be an official or employee of any political subdivision entering into the regional agreement, except that the director/coordinator shall not be the chief executive of any such political subdivision.

A regional authority for emergency management organized under this section shall establish a program for emergency management that:

(1) Is in accordance with sections 5502.21 to 5502.51 of the Revised Code, rules adopted under those sections, local ordinances pertaining to emergency management, the "Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act," 88 Stat. 143, 42 U.S.C. 5121 , et. seq., as amended, and all applicable rules and regulations adopted under that act;

(2) Includes, without limitation, development of an all-hazards emergency operations plan that has been coordinated with all agencies, boards, and divisions having emergency management functions within the regional authority;

(3) Includes the preparation and conduct of an annual exercise of the regional authority's all-hazards emergency operations plan;

(4) Is applicable to all political subdivisions entering into the regional agreement.

The director/coordinator of emergency management for a regional authority organized under this section shall be responsible for coordinating, organizing, administering, and operating emergency management in accordance with the authority's program established under this section, subject to the direction and control of the executive committee. All agencies, boards, and divisions having emergency management functions within each political subdivision within the regional authority shall cooperate in the development of the all-hazards emergency operations plan and shall cooperate in the preparation and conduct of the annual exercise.

(B) Nothing in this section requires any political subdivision that is located within a county that has entered into a written agreement under this section establishing a regional authority for emergency management to enter into that agreement, provided that the political subdivision has established a program for emergency management in accordance with section 5502.271 of the Revised Code.

(C) A regional authority for emergency management may designate the county auditor and county treasurer of one of the counties in the region as fiscal officers for the regional authority and may designate the prosecuting attorney of one of the counties in the region as legal advisor for the regional authority.

Effective Date: 05-15-2002