Carson Conversation: Crisis management defines a community (Voices)

Ronni Hannaman is executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.

Ronni Hannaman is executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce. Courtesy Photo

Planning for emergencies is always difficult, for each emergency has its own set of circumstances.

Residents and businesses can only hope those in charge of our fates know their roles and will mobilize without hesitation leading us to safety, for that is why they are paid well and why we revere our “first” responders.

The world has been in a tumult since mid-March 2020, and it has been interesting to witness the speed with which our governments have mobilized forces to try to keep us safe even through the confusion and seemingly gut reaction to any unknown incident as the next move is figured out on the fly.

It’s also been rather frustrating to listen to the many disparate voices commanding us to do this or that, for suddenly we have all been rendered powerless to choose our own fate.

On the national level, the mixed messages and incessant noise emanating from the CDC, the White House, spokespersons such as Dr. Fauci, the press and other “leaders” continue to have us all scrambling to sort through information that could/should be true.

The crisis management at the very top was not all it should have been no matter the political party, thus the plethora of questions seemingly never sufficiently answered.

Statewide, our top leadership was/is at the mercy of the federal government if they wanted the seemingly never-ending flow of cash.

However, reins were loosened somewhat when counties were allowed to make decisions on behalf of their citizenry — always with the caveat the ultimate authority was still in the hands of those up the food chain dangling cash incentives.

It was soon discovered though the population base is, indeed, in Clark County, not all counties should be considered equal when it comes to managing a pandemic.

When reins were ultimately handed to the counties, Carson City was at the ready when the call came to prepare residents for COVID testing and vaccinations, expertly handled by the Carson City Health & Human Services Department.

The City has remained at the top of the chart with the highest percentage of residents fully vaccinated. CCHHS handles the emergency health needs for four counties, to include Douglas, Lyon and Storey, as well as the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City.

They did their job with little fanfare, for it was all about getting the job done and making our city safe for all without the usual politicking often seen on the federal and state level.

The Carson City Fire Department is in charge of overall emergency management. Not only do they do their everyday tasks, but they function as the overall command center with experienced personnel to advise and assist.

City departments work closely together to manage any situation always with the resident in mind.

Mayor Lori Bagwell states emphatically, “We are fortunate to have well-trained personnel at the ready to implement whatever emergency measure is needed as well as having a great community to help their fellow man/woman in a crisis.”

In the case of the fire emergencies now prevalent in our area, it’s the non-governmental American Red Cross, with Mary Powell at the helm, that has been handed the difficult task of managing the human side of the crisis.

City staff identifies the infrastructure needs to feed and shelter evacuees while Powell manages the shelters and staff to make those who have suddenly found themselves without shelter as comfortable as possible in an impossible situation.

It is gratifying for locals to know while we might question the many mixed crisis management messages being handed down from Washington, D.C., Nevada — for the most part — has it handled statewide, and Carson City certainly has it handled citywide.

“Carson Conversation” is a monthly NNBW Voices column authored by Ronni Hannaman, executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce. Reach her for comment at


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