The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the State Coordination of Civil Protection of Baja California, United Mexican States, signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Nov. 7.
Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci and State of Baja California State Coordination of Civil Protection Director Antonio Rosquillas signed the MOU inside the State Operations Center at Cal OES Headquarters in a ceremony attended by representatives of both agencies. The MOU will continue building collaborative efforts between California and Baja California, such as improving efficiencies and capabilities within emergency management, sharing best practices, technology, research, and training. The MOU will also continue to build upon common goals and interests between Cal OES and the Civil Protection of Baja California, as well as enhance the overall safety and emergency preparedness in Mexico and California.
In signing the MOU, Directors Ghilarducci and Rosquillas pledged to cooperate to effectively reduce the risk of, and respond to, threats to public health, safety and welfare of their border communities. The MOU describes the cooperation between the California and Baja California to prevent and respond more effectively to emergencies that may occur in or near border communities, while also ensuring that in areas of mutual concern the two will share emergency response plans to effectively use intelligence resources, systems and services.
The Memorandum Of Understanding is as follows:
The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), United States of America and the State Coordination of Civil Protection of Baja California, United Mexican States, hereinafter referred to as the Participants.
WHEREAS, the State of California and Baja California share a common border, a cultural connection and a history of cooperation in times of emergency;
WHEREAS, the Participants share many geographic, agricultural, social and economic similarities;
WHEREAS, the rapid growth in population in urban areas along the border has increased demands on almost all governmental and social institutions;
WHEREAS, in the well-established spirit of friendship and cooperation, the Participants intend to cooperate to effectively reduce the risk of, and respond to, threats to public health, safety and welfare of their border communities. This Memorandum of Understanding describes the cooperation between the Participants to prevent and respond more effectively to emergencies that may occur in or near border communities.
THEREFORE, WE COMMIT our intention to:
Ensure that in areas of mutual concern, share emergency response plans to effectively use intelligence resources, systems and services shall; where feasible and practicable be compatible and involve mutual training.
Design cooperation projects within our own jurisdictions to study, research and provide technical training in risks and natural disasters, in order to develop procedures and techniques for the prevention, mitigation and preparation of response and rebuild cooperation efforts within the appropriate authorities of each state and in accordance with applicable laws.
Design communication strategies to apply in the event of emergencies and disasters, in accordance with applicable law.
Share information and experience on emergency preparedness, response and
Recognize that Directors of CAL OES and Civil Protection in both states have the final decision on whether to provide assistance to the other state. A state may decide not to provide assistance, depending on the circumstances.
WHEREAS, the Participants acknowledge that this Memorandum of Understanding is not intended to create any legally binding rights or obligations, and will not be enforceable in any court of law in the United States of America or the United Mexican States. The Participants commit themselves in good will to implement this Memorandum to the fullest extent practicable, subject to any changes in policy that they may adopt.
The State Coordination of Civil Protection of Baja California is the executive and operational State Civil Protection System, which is responsible for integrating, coordinating and managing the system itself, and developed, implemented, and operates the State Civil Protection Program and State Contingency Plan. Its fundamental goal is to protect the life and health of the inhabitants of the state, public property, private property and the environment in the event of a disaster and reduce the loss of life, the effects on health, destruction of property and damage to the environment.
California is a world leader in emergency management and partners with many countries around the world. International partnerships, like today’s MOU, provide different governments the opportunity to learn from each other, share ideas and resources to better protect the public before, during and after a disaster.