Just days following the 20 year anniversary of the Northridge earthquake — which caught many public safety departments in the area unprepared to deal quickly with the devastation — the City of Commerce has opened a new state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center, (EOC).
During a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday attended by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and other community leaders, city officials said the facility at 5639 Jillson St., will serve as the city’s headquarters for first responders during a local or major disaster.
“The new EOC provides us with the technology and just as importantly, a stable environment to respond quickly and efficiently to natural disasters and other emergencies,” said Mayor Joe Aguilar in a written statement. “The safety of our residents is always our number one priority so we built this facility to better meet that need.”
The emergency operations center is located within a few blocks of City Hall, where many of the offices for city departments and staff are housed.
Roybal-Allard helped secure the $1 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security to fully fund the building of the facility, which city officials say is completely secure and fire resistant.
The center also features a fully integrated audio/visual system allowing staff to track progress on incidents, as well as monitor emergency operations, notes a city press release. The high-tech facility will also allow the city, in a coordinated manner, to communicate with Los Angeles County and other regional and state emergency operations centers.
A backup generator will ensure operations continue even during power outages.
The congresswoman said she was proud to be able to partner with the city to secure the federal funds needed to make the emergency center a reality.
“I commend all of the stakeholders for having the foresight to invest in this project, which benefits the residents and businesses of the City of Commerce, the 40th Congressional District, and our entire region, as well,” said Roybal-Allard. Congratulations to the City of Commerce, the city council and staff, and the construction team on a job well done!”