There's a new office in town that's keeping you safe. It's the city's newest Emergency Operations Center. It opened December 21 and has been fully staffed once, that was Christmas Day.
There's scanners, radios, televisions, everything you'd expect inside an emergency operations
center. What makes the room unique is that it's already in place.
"This room was a conference room, not being utilized that often. What this gives us is one location," said John Henderson Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.
The city already has an EOC at the Training Center located on Flood Street. That one has to be set up piece by piece including pulling floors out and moving computers into place. It takes roughly two hours for the area to transform into a working EOC. During an emergency every second counts. The new center is functioning when you're awake and in bed.
"This was set more as a quick way to just come in and work command and situational awareness at any time," said Henderson. "It's always up and running."
During emergencies any department from the city can come in here at any hour and use it.
"Whether it's storm spotting, red flag warning days, when we're trying to watch for wildfires, are we on mutual aid calls."
The cost was rather inexpensive too. Most of the equipment was already in house but not in use. They just put it all together to serve a greater purpose.
The new ECO can reach the eleven counties of Nortex. It's located at Fire Station No. 1 on Bluff Street. The old EOC on Flood Street can still be used if needed.