News : County's Emergency Operations Facility to Debut May 10
April 30, 2014 -- One of the most important responsibilities of government is to provide emergency response services to residents during and after a disaster. Marin County’s new Emergency Operations Facility in San Rafael, which will have its public debut on May 10, will allow emergency response services remain operational in the event of a major earthquake.
Sheriff-Coroner Robert T. Doyle will join other elected officials and dignitaries during the May 10 grand opening ceremony at 1600 Los Gamos Drive in San Rafael, just west of Highway 101 in the Terra Linda area. More than 150 personnel from the Sheriff’s Office will be relocated about 2 miles north from the Marin County Civic Center into the Los Gamos building in May, June and July.
"I am proud of the building, which is the result of thousands of hours of staff time spent over the past two years to ensure a modern and open work environment that focuses on enhancing opportunities for collaboration and improved delivery of services," Doyle said.
Also, the County’s Information Services and Technology (IST) Department will have a dozen data center employees working in the 118,000 square feet of useable workspace. Later, several other divisions from IST, the Department of Public Works, and Health and Human Services will relocate to the building.
The County purchased 41-year-old building in December 2011 and made improvements over the past two years to assure that the upgraded structure would meet essential service standards after a major earthquake. Improvement costs included new purchases such as 911 call center radio equipment, data centers and server technology, interior redesign, furniture, structural alterations and seismic upgrades.
"For the first time, infrastructure and technology that is critical to the safety of the entire county will be housed in a seismically safe building designed specifically for that purpose," Doyle said. "What we hope to gain from this important investment is the ability to manage and respond to all manner of emergency events from a centralized location specifically constructed for that important purpose."
"There is a lot to celebrate," Hymel said. "We had a longstanding goal to have an emergency operations center that could withstand a major earthquake. We bought the building when it was really a good time to buy. The project came in on time and on budget, so overall we’re very pleased."
After 152 Sheriff-Coroner personnel and 12 IST employees get settled at the Emergency Operations Facility, the County plans to bring in another 150-170 County employees from other departments over the next several years. Extra spaces will be rented to generate funds that would be considered a bonus to the County budget.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, May 2, 2014