A look inside the HHH Emergency Operations Center

Multiple city and county officials will be overlooking the safety of the race.
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 3:49 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Before riders put their foot to the pedal for this year’s Hotter’N Hell Hundred, race officials team up with local emergency services to make sure the ride is safe. The hub for all this action is the Emergency Operations Center.

“It really just puts everything under one roof. The flow is a lot better, and the communication is a lot better,” Emergency Management Coordinator John Henderson said.

The Emergency Operations Center has been headquartered at WFPD’s training center since 2014 and runs through the Office of Emergency Preparedness. Inside, you’ll find stations for dispatch, a phone bank for emergency calls, and representatives from the city and multiple counties monitoring anything that may be of concern.

“If something did happen, we’re all already here, so all we would have to do is call in a few more city staff if we had a disaster happen or an emergency,” Henderson said.

Things like the Boston Marathon bombing have caused an increase in awareness through the years. So, in addition to the operations center, there is an even more significant emphasis on the race route itself.

“We park trucks on the starting line. They’re not there just to keep bikers in check; they’re also there to maybe stop somebody if they get through barricades and get around,” Henderson said.

Worst-case scenarios are also the reason city representatives like Chris Horgen are there to relay any information to ensure the public’s safety and provide another successful Hotter‘N Hell Hundred to the Falls.

“It’s logistics,” Horgen said. “That’s what this room is all about. That’s what the emergency preparedness guys do. They work really hard to make sure that we have everything we need in here to do everything we need to do from this location and be ready to go at the drop of a hat.”