Whatcom Unified Emergency Management (WUEM) is a partnership between the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management (DEM), the City of Bellingham’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and several local jurisdictions, organizations and agencies.
By County mandate the Sheriff is the Emergency Manager for Whatcom County. To pursue these efforts an unfunded Division of Emergency Management was established in the Sheriff’s Office. A Deputy Director was assigned to handle the day-to-day operations of the Division. Based on the concept that no one entity within the County has the financial ability to provide a full time emergency management staff, a cooperative approach was started that the County and the political jurisdictions within the County, would contribute money to support. Council members pay for the service based on civic population. Those members who pay are the Cities of Lynden, Sumas, Everson, Nooksack, Ferndale, Blaine. The County, and the Port of Bellingham pay into this effort as well. These entities are the Emergency Management Council members. The Council is chaired by the County Executive, and the vice-chair is the Sheriff. Council members attend meetings, vote on issues, as well as give guidance to the management of the Division.
The City of Bellingham is not part of the Council, nor do they pay into it for services. WUEM was started as an unfunded, unofficial agreement of emergency management partnership. DEM and WUEM share office space and duty officers together. The events of the Whatcom Pipeline explosion and the 2009 Floods impressed upon all local first responders that a catastrophic event that effects one city in Whatcom County, will affect all cities in Whatcom County. This partnership plays an important role in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters in our community.
To contact the Whatcom Unified Emergency Management Offices:
You can also engage with us on the following social media platforms: