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Purchase of command center to help disaster preparedness

In addition to allocating $24,000, the city council unanimously approved the purchase of a $1.8 million truck to serve as the city’s mobile Emergency Command Center (EOC). The EOC will serve as a station for local disaster managers in the event of a serious city emergency.

The EOC will be funded with a $100,000 received from the sale of its last mobile command center; with a $1.1 million in grants; $180,000 from the local school district and Claremont Colleges; $300,000 from the Impound Lot fund balance and a loan of $183,600 from the General Fund, to be paid back over the next 3 years.

“This project presents a significant investment into the emergency preparedness of the Claremont community,” said Claremont Chief of Police Paul Cooper with agreement from the council.

The city’s mobile command center has jumped around from a series of locations throughout the past 30 years, from the police department itself to the Citrus Room above city hall. However, these operations center lacked county space requirements, according to Claremont Chief of Police Paul Cooper.

“In each of these moves there was also limited amount of infrastructure and technology availability,” Chief Cooper added.

The new 53-foot EOC trailer will provide 897 square feet of floor and storage space. It will contain a dedicated phone system and communication center linking Claremont’s first responders with those throughout southern California and self-contained water, heating/air and electrical capabilities. In the wake of the disasters caused by Superstorm Sandy, Councilmembers were encouraged that the city and school district is collaborating to take steps toward ensuring Claremont is prepared should disasters strike here.

“It’s not so much the event as the aftermath that we need to be concerned and prepared for, and I definitely think this unit will help us to that end,” Mr. Pedroza said.

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