Author Archives: April

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Permit Folder

Permitting doesn’t have to be troublesome

Category:Communications Tags : 

Issuing permits can be time consuming. Not to mention keeping up on the inspections and follow-up of those permits. Code Enforcement officers tell us that before Codepal, they had to call the office when they noticed various permitting violations to see if permits were issued and tracking permit inspections was a nightmare. Now they are able to quickly determine if a stop is necessary and schedule their inspections with ease. Codepal allows a complete history tracking of a property, with quick scheduling features.

Food Truck Permitting

Food trucks are making their way to fairs, markets, and outside events, firework stands have taken over empty lots and burn permits are being requested daily.

Building and Fire are inundated with these types of temporary permit applications and inspections every summer. How do you prepare for the added workload? Were you receiving bad press over last-minute firework permit delays?

The Food Truck industry has boomed in recent years and expects to generate $2.7 billion in revenue this year alone. Spurred by low startup costs and consumer demand Food Trucks are here to stay. But keeping these trucks safe is a huge challenge for city officials and the Codepal staff has been listening.

Links to interesting food truck articles:

Firework Permitting

In addition to commercial Fireworks displays a growing number of states are relaxing regulation of personal fireworks. Iowa is the most recent state to allow Fireworks creating a lot of work for fire prevention professionals and city officials. Permits and inspections need to be done where the fireworks are stored, sold and used to ensure everyone’s safety!

Links to interesting fireworks articles:

Burn Permitting

Not every citizen understands or follows local burn laws. On top of permits and inspections, many AHJs must conduct, city officials must be on the lookout for unauthorized and illegal burning as well.

Links to interesting articles:

Let us Help!

  • ISSUE: Quickly issue permits from your desk or on site.
  • TRACK: Easily track all permits
  • INSPECT: Schedule and inspect from the field
  • COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT: Follow up on safety complaints with ease

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Training water rescue

Successful NC Catawba Flood Exercise hosted in Morganton, NC

Category:Success Story Tags : 

Our friends at Burke County Emergency Management recently hosted a successful flood rescue training exercise. Several states participated,
along with teams from Canada, Chile, and Mexico. March 30 – April 3, 2019, the NC Catawba Flood Exercise was held at Western Piedmont Community
College Emergency Services Training Center in Morganton, North Carolina.

Black Hawk Rescue
Black Hawk Rescue

“There was no cost to participate. We were able to secure exercise grant funds and SAR designated exercise funding to put this together. Burke County was awarded the grant to do a local exercise and when we found out other funding was coming available. We talked with state Emergency Management and decided to combine forces and offer a bigger statewide event. North Carolina has never put on an exercise of this type and magnitude before. Everyone is very pleased with the outcome. With it being our first, we certainly learned a tremendous amount to make it better next time. We hope to do it again provided we can secure the funding.” says Mike Willis, Burke County Fire Marshal/EM Director


About the Catawba Flood Exercise

The 2019 Catawba Flood Exercise was a wide area search exercise designed to test water rescue capability to mobilize, integrate, and deploy flood rescue assets in response to a large scale-flooding incident. The exercise included areas to test resources in dynamic and static water rescue, wide area search, logistics, and base of operations, communications, as well as command and control. Air and ground resources were utilized to respond to various scenarios and time was provided for debriefings to share best practices across the various response agencies. This exercise was open to in-state and out of state resources as one of the main exercise objectives is to integrate response organizations across multiple jurisdictions.

Parking lot of trailers

Congratulations Burke County Emergency Management on the success of your event and we wish you success in future events.

Photos and videos of the event
Newspaper article: Flood exercise brings national attention to Burke County

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Man yelling in phone

5 Tips for Dealing with Difficult People

Category:Communications,Trends Tags : 

Whether you are an inspector, code enforcement officer, permitting clerk or administrator, you’ve probably dealt with a difficult person in the workplace. A disgruntled co-worker. An angry community member. A building or business owner. These situations are difficult at best and dangerous at worse. Let’s discuss how to deal with difficult people.

Listen and be alert

The key when dealing with a difficult person is to always be alert, don’t let your guard down. Know the warning signs. Listen for the changes in their voice (volume, tension). Watch for the tell-tale warning signs in their body language. Once you’re able to note when the tensions are rising, you may be able to diffuse the situation quickly without incident. Above all, most people just want to feel like they have been heard. Utilize active listening skills and try to diffuse the situation before it becomes larger.

Check your ego at the door

It is important for you to stay calm. Do not add to the tension by allowing the situation to emotionally charge you. Losing your temper could trigger the difficult person into action. Importantly, check your ego at the door. The majority of the time, the person is not angry with you. Perhaps it is the situation and possibly something else entirely. However, this does not mean you should be a doormat. Be firm, but fair and remain rational.

Show empathy and compassion

Treat the other person with respect, even if they have not earned it. Most of us work in a service providing industry and the way we act reflects not only on us but our employers too. Empathy and compassion go hand in hand. Try to determine the cause of the underlying issue, offer compassion and understanding. There may be a hidden need. Remain clear and focused on finding a resolution.

The truth is, you can’t reason with an unreasonable person.

Barbara Markway Ph.D.
20 Expert Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People

Do not issue demands

Issuing demands in an already volatile situation may not help resolve the issue when dealing with a difficult person. Offer clear solutions and resolutions. Providing options starting with the positive first and then move from there. Carefully detail consequences in a factual manner and verify the person understands. The majority of the time, people will choose the option that best serves their interest.

Anger in an escalated situation will only result in more anger. Keep it in check.

Protect yourself and trust your instincts

What if the issues escalate? When dealing with a person who is irrational, it is wise to keep some space between you for your safety. Going along with the first tip, be alert – trust your instincts. If you feel like the situation is escalating beyond your control, you need to safely remove yourself from the situation and call a higher authority for a resolution. If you are that authority, follow through with the consequences that have been discussed and carefully proceed in the manner in which you were trained.