Garrett Commission Approves Phase One of New Emergency Management Operations Center

The Garrett County Commission recently approved a proposed project priority ranking list that includes phase one of the county’s new emergency management operations center. Garrett County Emergency Management may no longer operate from the Garrett County Airport due to Federal Aviation Administration restrictions.

The Cumberland Times-News states

A new 5,400-square-foot emergency operations center is proposed to be located in the McHenry Business Park.

The total cost of the project is $1 million, $500,000 will come from ARC (Appalachian Regional Commission) and $500,000 will come from local/state funding. The total project cost is estimated at $3.4 million and will consist of multiple phases. Phase I includes architectural design and engineering, along with the commencement of the construction of the primary building structure, according to the minutes.

Th building will include a Emergency Operations Center (EOC); emergency services; administrative offices; training and conference rooms; a backup 911 Communications Center; an informational public lobby; and a storage facility for emergency response equipment, according to the minutes. The new facility will be structurally hardened, secure, and contain multiple resilient communications capabilities.

The center is staffed by emergency management personnel and all emergency support functions personnel, which includes up to 50 staff positions. Garrett County is the only county in the state that does not have an established emergency management facility to handle full-scale activations and provide backup 911 communications capabilities, according to the minutes.