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Bucks opens upgraded, expanded Emergency Operations Center


After some $2 million in technology upgrades and a modest expansion, Bucks County officials cut the ribbon on its renovated Emergency Operations Center in Ivyland.

“This is a momentous occasion,” Bernard Griggs Jr., the county’s project and diversity officer, recently told the audience of first responders, operations center staff and county representatives.

With state-of-the-art IT that improves in-person, hybrid and virtual meeting capabilities, newly configured workstations that enhance collaboration during a crisis and new camera systems, the emergency center is fully equipped and prepared to provide 21st century services to Bucks County, said Audrey Kenny, the county’s emergency service director.

“Every emergency that comes into this county starts and ends in this space,” Kenny said. “We are thrilled to have this new emergency operations center. We know it’s going to be a wonderful addition to our complement of services that we offer here, and it will serve the first responders, the police departments, the EMS agencies, the fire departments and our emergency professionals for years to come.”

There’s a separate telephone room where operations’ staff can talk with residents calling in during an event, such as a hurricane or other weather emergency, explained George Wilson, the center’s director of operations, during a tour of the facility. A front room can double as a training room and press room.

Throughout the approximately 2,500-square-foot center, spaces can have multiple uses, making it adaptable for whatever might be needed during an emergency, Wilson said.

Funding for the improvements came from federal COVID relief and Homeland Security monies, the county said.

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