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Thank You

Record snow falls blanketed the City of Bowling Green this past week helping to coin the phrase #Snowmageddon2015. Nearly a foot of snow mixed with frigid temperatures made sure that this storm would go down in Bowling Green history. Facebook was full of pictures and status updates, while Twitter was constantly buzzing with more re-tweets of @joeimel than ever before.
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While Mother Nature was doing all that she could to keep the citizens of Bowling Green trapped in their homes, the City of Bowling Green Public Works crews (among many others) were out working in the elements to salt, plow and treat roads as the snow fell.

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Starting Sunday, February 15th, at 10 p.m. crews started working in 8 hour shifts to prepare the trucks and salt the roads. For the next week, these folks stayed out on the roads 24 hours per day in varying shifts. Many of these employees had to leave their homes and their families at all hours of the day or night in order to make the streets safer for the rest of us. During this time, 923 tons of deicer was used and miles upon miles of City streets were plowed (often times more than once as the snow fell at such a heavy rate).

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While Public Works crews did all that they could out in the field, Parks and Recreation staff worked to clear parking lots and Public Safety assisted travelers who were stuck or stranded and helped to push numerous vehicles out of dangerous situations. Again, these folks were working around the clock often times in negative temperatures.

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As someone who was able to work from my home and my office, I am so grateful for the work that was done. Updates were posted on social media as often as possible and it was clear that most of the citizens of Bowling Green agreed that these employees were doing an excellent and efficient job. Here are just a few of the things that were said:

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Shout out to all the first responders for keeping us safe this week

Appreciate all the work so that I can eventually feel safe leaving the house

Way to go James, Josh, Glenn, Kevin, Burris, Jeff, Allen, and Brawner

Thank you for your hard work. And thanks to your families for their sacrifice also. Prayers you all stay safe.

A huge shout out to the road crews who are clearing our roads. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

Thank you so much for your service to our community!!

Be careful out there ladies and/or gentlemen! We appreciate all you do.
You all have done an amazing job! Thank you.
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The work of not only City crews but County, State and many others helped to get people back on the roads quickly and safely. If you know someone who was working out during the storm, please take a moment to say thank you. Some of our Board of Commissioners wanted staff to know:

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Commissioner Rick Williams: A word of thanks to every team member who went above and beyond to help the citizens of Bowling Green during the recent weather crisis. Your dedication and determination to get the job done was simply outstanding! Great job everyone!!

Commissioner Melinda Hill: Thank you for the LONG hours you put in during the winter storm to make our City operable! I have heard nothing but good things about your efforts! Thank you so much.

Mayor Bruce Wilkerson: Thank you to our staff and crews in all departments who were working long hours around the clock to not only clear our roads but to help keep others safe. Your work did not go unnoticed and we are all appreciative.

Commissioner Joe Denning: A special thank you to everyone who was out on the streets of Bowling Green this past week working in the elements. Your dedication and efforts went above and beyond.

Commissioner Sue Parrigin – I cannot express the appreciation, admiration, and amazement for the work that was done by our public works, parks, police, fire, and other personnel on behalf of our community as a result of our severe weather event. All stayed the course and the dedication and commitment, sometimes at a cost to their own personal and family needs, did not go unnoticed by the citizens of Bowling Green and Warren County. A personal thank you for a job well done in helping to keep us all safe and sound under these extreme circumstances is certainly in order! Again, thank you for a job well done!
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There is no way that we can name everyone who worked around the clock this past week but thank you especially to the following Public Works crew:

Gary Hardin
Ryan Johnson
Allen Papp
Barry Basham
Brent Brawner
Cameron Carver
Cary Watt
David Wood
Derrick Sigdestad
Eric Joiner
Jacob Boose
Jeff Salings
Kevin Meredith
Derrick Sanders
Michael Spruill
Randy Rascoe
Shawn Whitlow
Tommy Burris
Tony Phelps
Wes Jackson
David Wilbert
Glenn Lamastus
James Craft
Jeff Walden
Josh Miller
Patrick Henderson
Roy Basham
Kevin Phelps
Bobby Phelps

One of the most important components for any emergency response is good communications.  Anytime you see an emergency vehicle responding with lights and sirens, they are doing so based on information provided to them by professional emergency communication dispatchers.

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Good dispatch operations are fundamental to successful Firefighting Operations.  Information relayed to fire crews while in route to a fire provides the basis for how the fire will be fought and defines various factors that need to be taken into consideration.  Is the structure occupied?  Is anyone trapped inside?  Where is the fire located in the structure?  If this type information is known, it is a big help to the Incident Commander and the responding crews to know this as soon as possible.

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Recently the Bowling Green Fire Department designed and implemented a Fire Operations learning program geared toward helping new emergency dispatchers gain a better understanding of how we respond and operate during an emergency, and the importance of their role in a successful outcome.

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Like most technical professions, firefighters operate with a language all their own.  Fire ground language includes acronyms, abbreviations and secondary word meanings specific to the profession.

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For example hearing the Incident Commander direct Engine 4 to “attack the fire with a 2-1/2 through the A side entrance” may leave you a little confused.  However, if you know that an engine carries different size hoses, and a 2-1/2 is a large diameter hand line capable of flowing 250 gallons per minute, and that the A side is usually the front of the structure where command is established, then that command directive takes on a different meaning and helps you paint a picture of what is happening on the fire ground.

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Ventilation, Search and Rescue, Loss Control, Water supply, exposure protection, etc. are all part of the dynamics of typical fire ground operations.  Our new dispatch orientation program provides dispatchers with a hands on opportunity to understand what those terms mean and actually participate in a mock exercise.

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During the training they will ride in a fire truck with lights and sirens engaged, try on an air pack, go up in an aerial truck, flow water through a fire hose, and experience a simulated smoke filled environment.  They get to observe and participate in a mock structure fire and see first-hand  what a coordinated structure fire response looks like and the importance of their role as professional communicators.  Likewise, firefighters learn about the challenges faced by dispatchers.   Gaining and sharing new perspectives and knowledge in these areas improves professionalism for all those  involved.

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We are fortunate to have a great team of dispatch communicators operating as an integral part of our emergency response effort.  They are on the point of the spear in a high stress environment and often don’t receive the recognition they deserve.  We look forward to continued professional improvement with them and believe this enhanced fire dispatch learning program is a step in the right direction.

Thanks, Chief Greg Johnson, BGFD

The 2015 Bowling Green Police Department Citizen Police Academy (CPA) is now accepting applications. This 11 week course begins March 5th and provides an opportunity to learn first-hand about police operations through a series of hands on demonstrations, interactive presenting and simulated activities. Participants will become better informed about the reality of police work and policing in our community.

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Classes meet one night per week from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bowling Green Police Department Community room at 911 Kentucky Street with off-site visits made to other locations such as the Justice Center, Jail, and BGPD Firing Range.

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Any citizen interested in the City of Bowling Green and/or police operations who is 18 years or older with no prior felony convictions can apply for the CPA.

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Academy curriculum and topics will include an overview of the department’s operations and organization, firearms training, a police ride along, mock traffic stops, K-9 demonstrations, mock crime scene investigations, undercover drug operatives, dispatch operations and much more.

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All classes will be instructed by Bowling Green Police Department or other criminal justice personnel.

If you would like to apply for the 2015 Citizen’s Police Academy, please visit http://www.bgky.org/police/citizen-police-academy or contact Officer Ronnie Ward at 270-393-4596.

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We need YOU to be involved in the future of Parks and Recreation! The City of Bowling Green is currently seeking your input through the process of preparing a master plan to improve the parks and recreation system throughout our city.

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Public participation is an essential part of this plan and there are multiple ways that we are seeking your opinions.

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A public workshop will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 9th at Bowling Green Jr. High School. This workshop will allow folks in our community to discuss what is important to them and how they would like to see our Parks programs grow.

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If you cannot attend the workshop but you would like to voice your opinion, you can always fill out our online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/BGParks. This survey asks a variety of questions about the parks and recreation services that you use as well as the services you would like to see offered in the future.

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Finally, if you’d like to stay involved throughout the entire master plan process, join us for continual online discussion and forums at www.OurBGParks.MindMixer.com. This site offers residents and park users the ability to provide feedback, input and discussion on a regular basis.

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Remember, this is your chance to help shape the future of our parks and recreation. Let us know what will benefit you and your family: more organized sports, an indoor pool, an ice rink, soft play for little ones, or anything else! Don’t miss this opportunity to get involved.
For more information about this process, please contact us at 270-393-3583.DSC_0079

Watch this week’s Update BG and learn about the Russel Sims Aquatic Center Season Passes.

Social Media

Do you use social media? Are you curious about what is happening in and around the City of Bowling Green? In this day and age, many organizations are educating and communicating with their customers and constituents online. The City of Bowling Green is no exception to this, and we want your feedback and comments about services, meetings, news and more.

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Like us on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/citybgky or follow us on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/cityofbgky to learn more about jobs openings, parks and recreation information, and special events.

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Check out our blog @ www.bgky.org/blog for information on special projects and upcoming holidays or events. Watch our videos on YouTube @ www.youtube.com/user/cityofbgky to view Board of Commissioner Meetings, Spotlight on Bowling Green, or Video News Releases.

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Additional information can also be received via text message @ http://www.bgky.org/connect/mobile-notifications and press releases and news can be received by joining our eNews @ www.bgky.org/connect/newsletter.

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Also, don’t forget to download our mobile device app by Searching BowlingGreen (all one word) at any app store. The City of Bowling Green mobile app promotes on-the-go access to City services, maps, alerts, special event information and social media.

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Please take the time to engage yourself in local government and empower yourself with knowledge. For more information on how to contact staff or officials, please call 393-3642 or email kim.lancaster@bgky.org.

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Watch this week’s Update BG and learn about the Kummer/Little Recreation Center.

Are you Over 50? Are you interested in Bowling Green? Do you want to know more about your City’s form of government? Then the 3rd Annual Over Fifty Citizen’s Academy is perfect for you! The Academy will be held weekdays, Thursday, March 19 through Wednesday, March 25, 2015, for Bowling Green City residents age 50 and older.

OFCA Bus Tour

A portion of the sessions will include bus transportation and very light walking, with accommodations as needed. The Academy is provided at no cost to participants. The participant is expected to attend each session throughout the five days. Applicants are chosen solely on a first come, first serve basis, using receipt of application to determine order.

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Throughout this five-day course you will learn how we pay for City government, gather information about aging resources and services, be introduced to all of our City departments, find out about transportation needs and planning, and so much more.

For more information or to apply, please visit: http://www2.bgky.org/neighborhoods/pdf/Over_50_Citizens_Academy_Application_Form2015.pdf or contact Karen Foley at 270-393-3674. Application deadline is March 1, 2015.

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Previous Over Fifty Academies have been a huge success with attendees providing the following feedback to City staff on evaluation forms:

• “After living here since the mid-70s it was extremely informative and educational to be exposed to all of the key areas of our city. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the presentations and tours and feel a much greater sense of appreciation for our City employees.”
• “I felt every presenter was excellent. They really showed how much B.G. city government cares about the citizens and each showed great pride in their department and the work they do.”
• “Loved, loved, loved this program! It so opened my eyes to what makes BG run. I had no idea. Thank you so very much for all your efforts pulling this together!!”
• “I have really enjoyed this. This is the best learning experience I have attended.”

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If you think this week-long Academy may be something you are interested in, please don’t hesitate to contact the City or apply online. Space is limited and we’re looking forward to another great program in 2015!!

Renovations Update

Watch this week’s Update BG and learn about the progress of the renovations at City Hall and City Hall Annex.

Apply Online is Now…Online

After months (actually, years) of work, the City of Bowling Green Human Resources and Information Technology staff have accomplished a long-time goal: to have the City employment application process on-line where applicants can complete and submit an employment application electronically.

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This new software was tested in the fall and became operational January 1, 2015. Now, anyone wanting to apply for employment with the City will complete and submit their application on-line. This new process also applies to internal employees wishing to apply for a transfer or promotion, as well as folks who want to volunteer in City government.

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If you don’t have a personal computer, please feel free to visit the Human Resources Department at City Hall (1001 College Street) and use one of the two machines set up in the lobby for applicants. Staff will be more than happy to assist anyone who needs help.

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There are several benefits to this new software and process. Applicants will receive confirmation that their application was received; if someone wants to apply for multiple positions during the year, they can update and resubmit the same application; data entry by HR staff is significantly reduced; this software allows for review of the applicant’s qualifications based on established minimum standards from the job description; and once an applicant is deemed to meet the minimum qualifications and has passed the criminal history check, the hiring department can view the application online.

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The online application process is designed to be more efficient for staff and for those applying. Information on available jobs can be found at www.bgky.org/jobs by signing up for eNews at http://www.bgky.org/connect/newsletter or by calling 270-393-3667.

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