Birmingham Mayor Bell said the city will review their response during last week's winter storm to find ways to improve. Source: WBRC video
Mayor Bell praised Birmingham's key department heads for their around-the-clock work during last week's snow and ice storm.
Birmingham Fire Chief Ivor Brooks said under the circumstances, he would give Birmingham an "A" for their work during the winter storm. Source: WBRC video
Some city department heads plan to ask for more funding for equipment to deal with winter weather, but some councilors don't believe the expense is warranted due to the rarity of snow storms. Source: WBRC video
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -
Tuesday, Birmingham Mayor William Bell recognized and praised key department heads for their around-the-clock work during last week's snow storm.
Bell also again promised the city would review their procedures to see if anything can be improved.
"Considering the circumstances, I would give us an 'A,'" Birmingham Fire Chief Ivor Brooks said.
Brooks will head the city's review team. Brooks said the city reacted quickly to activate its "Swift Plan" which is their procedure for emergency situations.
Brooks said while his and other city departments communicated well through two-way radios, the overuse of cell phones created a gridlock in downtown Birmingham.
"Basically, that is what we are going to look at. Should we use a staggered release? Something like that, in releasing people off work and releasing people from the city," Brooks said.
Another idea offered by councilor Stephen Hoyt is for the city to come up with a 1-800 number for citizens to call with storm or emergency-related questions.
Members of the city council want to be involved in the review process.
"We need to make sure we get all the agencies at the table. ALDOT, city of Birmingham, Jefferson County EMA, to talk about who to handle the situation in the future," Birmingham city councilman Jay Roberson.
Some city department heads indicated they may ask for additional funding in the next budget to help deal with this type of crisis, but some city councilors don't believe major expenditures are warranted.
"No, I don't think the city needs to go and beef up snow plows and sand. We normally do not have this event happen for another 10 to 15 years," city council president Johnathan Austin said.