When the need arises, the City of Allentown’s new Emergency Operations Center will be ready.
The city recently completed $15,000 in renovations and enhancements to the center which is located in the Streets Department office at 1825 Grammes Road. They were unveiled this morning at a news conference held at the center.
“It became apparent during Super Storm Sandy and in its aftermath that we could make improvements that would really make a difference in our operations,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “Primarily, we wanted to improve our communications capabilities and create an area where we could effectively centralize command of all of our operations.”
Formerly used as a dispatch center for snow removal equipment, the new center can now be used for any citywide emergency 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The center has been expanded to include six computer stations with three desk top computers and three wireless laptops each equipped with a radio transmitter. A large monitor can show the locations of city vehicles and completed work utilizing GIS and Zonar. A dedicated phone line is set-up to the Communications Center for contact with Police/Fire and Paramedics. If electric service is interrupted, the center has a natural gas powered generator to supply back-up power capable of running operations 24/7. Television monitors allow the staff to keep up to date with the latest weather and local information. In addition, lighting was upgraded, new cabinets and countertops were installed and a break-room/kitchenette was constructed.
“Super Storm Sandy proved to officials across this region that a major storm with serious short term consequences can happen here. We need to have the resources to be able to handle it in the best way possible. Our new EOC greatly enhances our capabilities,” Pawlowski said.