WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Members of the Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Board want to upgrade the county’s current mobile command post.
It’s a tool that could be used to assist in the county’s response to emergencies, which, after what happened in East Palestine, is at the forefront of officials’ minds.
EMA Board members say it would cost a lot of money to get the command post to where it needs to be.
The county got the camper for free 13 years ago. It’s believed to have been used to house those who were displaced from their homes during Hurricane Katrina. Inside, it still looks like it could be used to go camping. Reasons why board members and emergency responders believe it’s time for a new one.
“We need a place as leaders in our community that we can sit down and talk and we can brief people without leaving the site, let alone community events to have this be available,” said Trumbull County Sheriff Paul Monroe.
They’d like a new post that has modern technologies including a 360-degree view camera and mobile dispatch center.
“We have previously been in positions where we’ve had catastrophic events to where we were even flooded and we had to work from a command post in our own parking lot that is no longer available to us if that were to happen again,” said Patty Goldner, interim director of the Trumbull County 911 Center.
EMA executive director John Hickey estimates the cost for a turn-key model would be about $800,000. He says the EMA Board plans to go through the county’s application process to request ARPA money to purchase it.
“For people to say, ‘Oh, that’s a lot of money for what ifs.’ Well, that ‘what if’ might happen tomorrow,” said Warren Township Trustee Ed Anthony.
“I absolutely support this project 100% and I think to the man, everybody in this room realizes we need to step up our technology. We need to put the safety of our citizens first and this is a way to really do that,” said Trumbull County Commissioner Denny Malloy.