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Emergency centre on the way - Metro US

Emergency centre on the way

Calgary is well on its way to being better prepared for its next state of emergency, according to city officials.

Yesterday the city put shovels to the ground of the new Emergency Operations Centre located at 617 – 1 St NE.

“The floods in 2005 made it clear that the Emergency Operations Centre built 60 years ago was not adequate to meet the needs of Calgary today,” said Mayor Dave Bronconnier.

The new 53,000-square-foot centre is expected to open its doors in early 2012.

“(The Emergency Operating Centre) will house 30 different agencies everyone from the Red Cross to Calgary Transit, Police, Fire, EMS, front line services, environmental and emergency protection services,” said Bronconnier.

The new $54-million facility will be funded by the City of Calgary and the province.

Bronconnier admits it is vital to have this new facility, but hopes it doesn’t have to be used.

“It’s a bit like insurance, you hope and pray you’ll never use it, but when you do, it is vital,” said Bronconnier.

It is important to the city the building is environmentally friendly and doesn’t disrupt the community surrounding it, according to city officials.

“In an effort to lessen the environmental footprint and ensure a better fit with the residential community and adjacent park, the new EOC will be built primarily underground,” said Tom Sampson, deputy chief of emergency management at the Calgary fire department.

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