City of Fitchburg fire department chief Joe Pulvermacher has been working for months on a basic emergency response plan that outlined the hierarchy of authority for the city and the role of emergency operations.

But the plan became a priority for the Common Council to pass at its Tuesday, March 24, meeting as the number of cases of COVID-19 in Dane County, and across the state and the nation, continued to rise.

The Council approved the basic emergency response plan unanimously, with little discussion.

Pulvermacher called the plan a “road map” that allows for emergencies to be approached in a consistent way in the future.

“It outlines what we do in an emergency, and how we respond,” Pulvermacher said as he spoke to the Common Council via video conference. “It provides a little bit of scope as to how we coordinate not only our local resources, but then how we work in an escalating situation, moving up the chain with the county, the state and the federal government.”

Email reporter Kimberly Wethal at and follow her on Twitter @kimberly_wethal.​