The finishing touches are underway for the City of Yakima’s new Emergency Operations Center. Located upstairs in the Richard A. Zais, Jr. Law and Justice Center, it occupies office space previously used by SunComm’s 911 operations before it moved to a facility in Union Gap.
A federal Homeland Security grant covered the nearly $17,000 required to establish the Emergency Operations Center, including installation of new work stations and large wall monitors to coordinate emergency response efforts and communicate with the public.
“This will be used when the City is experiencing a natural or human-caused emergency,” Emergency Management Specialist Charles Erwin said. “Information sharing, taking care of the public is critical.”
He said the Emergency Operations Center, established at no cost to the city, has work stations for the City’s Fire, Police, Public Works, and Code Administration departments, as well as for communications. A simulated airport exercise will be held at the center on Thursday, September 7th to help fine-tune its operations.
Available space, grant funds, and this past spring’s flooding were all catalysts for creating the center, Erwin said. Now, the City will have the benefit of both a mobile unit for first responders to assist at the scene of a disaster or emergency as well as the centralized Emergency Operations Center to maintain communication and coordinate efforts.
Visit https://yakimafire.com/emergency-management/ for more information about the City of Yakima’s emergency preparations.