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The decal measures 4" in diameter and is the only decal available specifically for EMC folks. Sign up for our Newsletter, a monthly dose of new ideas exclusive deals on great gear, send directly to your inbox. As part of the emergency procedures at Tulane University, certain employees are expected to perform duties essential to the mission of the university. With emergency communication antennas on the roof, and a fleet of vehicles ready to respond, the new Portland Bureau of Emergency Management Emergency Communications Center now serves as the “crisis hub” for the Rose City.
Until January 30, if a large scale natural or man-made disaster had struck Portland – the 24th largest city in the nation – officials would have had to make do with a makeshift hodge-podge of offices and rooms where they’d coordinate a response to the emergency. In the past, the command staff of police, fire, Portland’s government and other infrastructure officials had to climb an open-air, two-story steel stairway and enter a suite of offices in the Bureau of Emergency Communication (BOEC) 9-1-1 Center building, just east of the I-205 freeway off SE Powell Blvd. Portland Bureau of Emergency Management Public Information Officer Dan Douthit offers a sneak preview of the ECC Communications Center’s main hub room. With the old arrangement, during a real emergency or during a drill, staff would clear space in a large office, converting it into the “situation room” in which the mayor, county chair and other leaders crammed in to be briefed. Finally, in June, 2012, officials gathered just south of the BOEC building and broke ground for a new Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) 29,000 sq.
The Portland Police Bureau Honor Guard raises the flag, to start the dedication ceremony of the Emergency Coordination Center. Portland Bureau of Emergency Management Director Carmen Merlo greets some of the 150 officials and guests present for the building’s dedication ceremony. The new, $19.8 million state-of-the-art emergency coordination center in outer East Portland is one of the most seismically sturdy facilities in the state. In this main-floor “hub room”, and in smaller situation rooms surrounding it, up to 200 representatives of all area bureaus and agencies can work together during an emergency.

The building also houses the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management offices, and Portland Water Bureau’s Emergency Management and Security offices – all located a breezeway away from the existing BOEC 9-1-1 Center. On a day-to-day basis, 18 PBEM employees work there – as well as Portland Water Bureau security staff – for a total of some 30 people. The ECC is equipped to help officials coordinate response to all kinds of emergencies, PBEM Director Carmen Merlo says.
Beyond responding to large-scale emergencies, like a catastrophic earthquake, the facility makes it possible for all responding Bureaus to coordinate the area’s resources for such crises as a major flu outbreak or flooding. For a time, the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) security division, which guards the City’s drinking water facilities across the region, was located in a temporary trailer – before it was situated in the Penumbra Kelly Building on East Burnside Street. PWB Emergency Manager Randy Kane shows a printed plan that can be used to troubleshoot and repair their systems – even in the event of total computer failure.
In west end of the building, PWB Emergency Manager Randy Kane was in the “map room”, just off the emergency center wing of the building.
The ECC is a major step toward emergency preparedness, affirms Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick.
In the parking lot, City Commissioner Steve Novick, in charge of PBEM, welcomed visitors, saying, “We are celebrating the opening of the Emergency Coordination Center.  It’s an important have a facility that will survive an earthquake.
PBEM Director Carmen Merlo, Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick prepare to cut the ceremonial ribbon, dedicating the new Emergency Coordination Center. Inside the new facility, Mayor Charlie Hales says he’s made plans to find a way to the Emergency Communications Center from his inner Southeast Portland home, regardless of the disaster.
After the ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony, Hales commented that the ECC location is advantageous to him personally, because he lives in the Eastmoreland neighborhood. Six emergency workers from Whitfield County were part of a mobile communications exercise sponsored Sept. Since agencies around the state use radios on different frequencies, GEMA coordinator Nick Brown says the goal is to make sure that when multiple agencies come together in a disaster, operations will go off without a hitch. Thanks to last month’s exercise, Whitfield County knows that it can accomplish that mission.

Taking part in the exercise from Whitfield County were members of the special operations communications team, including 911 Deputy Director Jeff Ownby and 911 shift trainers Brittany Pierce and Jantzen Chance.
Two other Whitfield County 911 workers – Carla Kelley and Amy Cooley – took part in the exercise, in a role as evaluators to make sure participants completed the tasks correctly. The Whitfield County Mobile Communications Vehicle was active in a training exercise sponsored by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency in September. Whitfield County 911’s Amy Cooley (foreground) and Carla Kelley (seated beside her) served as evaluators at a Georgia Emergency Management Agency mobile communications exercise. From teaching and research to life safety and facilities maintenance, certain employees may need to remain on or report to campus. It provides a central hub for Portland’s public safety officials to respond to a major disaster, including catastrophic earthquakes, floods, winter storms, or other hazards. In fact, just 10 days after the ribbon was cut for the ECC, emergency first-responders gathered there to coordinate the response to the early February snowfall and ice storm. Not being able to communicate with other emergency officials would just make things that much worse, Craig said.
He also said that the exercises help emergency officials build relationships  so they know who they might end up working with if agencies have to come together in a large-scale emergency. Please click here to access more information on the Critical Personnel Policy and submit information for consideration as a critical employee. It also features a commercial kitchen that is equipped to feed an army of staffers as they work.

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