The EOC Operations Room is the central point of major incident management. Here, the elected officials and decision makers come together to coordinate the response to disasters or major incidents. Various computerized work stations, LCD projection of real-time events, wireless phones, wireless internet, radio control stations, and other technical applications are features of the Operations Room, also known as the EOC Council Room. Laptop computers using WEBEOC are used by the management team.
EOC OPERATIONS "IT" CONTROL
The operations room has several work stations, similar to the photo to the right. In this photo, these computer operators control the real-time display of events, can show maps, and gather technical information for the decision makers. SKYPE conference calls are also controlled by these stations. These terminals are tied into WEBEOC which allows for simultaneous exchange of information between local, regional and state officials.
RESOURCES & LOGISTICS
Immediately adjacent to the operations room, are two work stations dedicated to Resources & Logistics. These terminals can access various data bases maintained throughout the state for local, regional and state resources. Logistical support of any incident is critical. Through WEBEOC, resources can be requested at any level, and electronic transfer of request forms speeds the process of securing needed items.
The EOC has a self contained call center. This is not intended to replace the 911 dispatch center, however, during disaster or emergency situations a controlled flow of information is critical. These three call taker stations are tied into the operations room through WEBEOC, but generate paper message forms for the routing of requests and information. The board visible in the upper left of the photo allows call takers to quickly route message forms to the correct individual or department for action.
COPY, PRINT & FAX CENTER
A copy, print & fax center is located near the center of the EOC, tied to the computer network, for document production. A map printer, copy/printer machine, and fax machine allow for processing of documents.
Probably the most difficult task of the EOC is to gather information about what has happened, what is being done, and with direction from the Command Staff, develop a plan for what will be done in the next operations period to continue to deal with the incident. This task is assigned to the planning section. In this area of the EOC, several personnel have individual work stations to compile this information, and produce an IAP (Incident Action Plan), that will be used to brief oncoming personnel, and serve as an operations plan for the next phase of the incident management.
Dependable communications are central to the management of every emergency incident. The Snyder EOC has three radio operator stations for communications. The facility has total redundant communications of all local public safety agencies, stand-alone radio systems strictly for Emergency Management personnel, and direct communications with outside agencies and adjacent cities. The dispatch center has P25 digital, analog, and interoperable radios, with paging capabilities. From the dispatch center, which also serves as the SKYWARN control point during dangerous weather, direct communications via Trunked VHF is maintained with the National Weather Service. Also, Amateur or HAM Radio is available, for additional backup to all other communications, and for use during weather spotting activities.
SECURITY AND OPERABILITY
The EOC shown above is all contained in a 2000 sq ft below ground facility, built to bomb shelter standards. Access is controlled by security during activation. Adjacent offices used daily by Fire Department Administration, are available to supplement the EOC if needed, to include additional computers, printers, copiers, radios, and the Fire Department dispatch room. The facility has continuous stand-by power and stocks water & food for extended activation.