– Dedication to a Safer Seattle

City of Seattle's new Fire and Emergency Ops Centers

City of Seattle's new Fire and Emergency Ops Centers

Original Post:  17 May 2008
I was privileged today to participate in the dedication of the City of Seattle’s new Fire Alarm Center, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Fire Station #10.   The City is committed to building or remodeling all its fire stations, funded by a levy passed by Seattle voters in 2003 (more information here).  
This building – and the people who work in it – are dedicated to managing and mitigating disasters.   These disasters could be personal ones – a heart attack (Seattle’s long been known as the “best place to have a heart attack“!?) or an injury from a car accident or a house fire, as all calls to 911 in Seattle for medical emergencies and fires will be accepted and dispatched here.  Or the disaster couple be a regional one such as an earthquake or a terrorist event or a trip by the Seattle Mariners to the World Series.  Well, that wouldn’t be a disaster, exactly, but because of the security needs, we’d activate the EOC.
I’m especially proud of this facility, as over 120 employees of the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) and IT employees from the Fire and Police Departments worked to put $7 million in communications and technology into the building.   This includes, for example, connections at Fire Dispatch consoles and every EOC table to the King County public safety trunked radio network.  There’s also a state-of-the-art 96 way video switch for accepting input from traffic cameras, commercial television (CNN, Seattle broadcast stations), and video conferencing, and routing it to HDTV screens on the walls and at the desktops throughout the facility.   There is fiber and phones and links to 911 and homeland-security-military-grade secure communications.   All installed by this set of City employees in a remarkably short time – essentially over six months once the building was ready.  Helping to fulfill the Mayor’s pledge to make Seattle the City best prepared for a disaster, including the small, personal, ones.

3 Comments

Filed under emergency operations, Seattle Fire Dept

3 responses to “– Dedication to a Safer Seattle

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