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Davis Journal

Davis County Sheriff’s Office breaks ground on new Emergency Operations Center

Jun 20, 2024 07:21AM ● By Becky Ginos
County officials and members of the construction and design team break ground on the site of the future Emergency Operations Center. Photo by Becky Ginos

County officials and members of the construction and design team break ground on the site of the future Emergency Operations Center. Photo by Becky Ginos

FARMINGTON—There was a lot of excitement on Tuesday when dirt was turned on the future Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on the Davis County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) campus in Farmington. The 17,300 square foot facility will provide coordinated disaster response and recovery in a large-scale emergency event for all 15 cities in the county and to regional partners. It is anticipated to be completed in 2025.

“We are so happy to have this day come to fruition and be able to get started on this great construction project for our county,” said Davis County Sheriff Kelly Sparks. “We have a population that is very self-sufficient and resilient. At the DCSO our mission really is to serve that community and be actively engaged in improving the quality of lives for everyone in Davis County.”

Sparks said Davis County is probably one of the only counties of its size in the whole state of Utah that doesn’t already have an EOC. “This is something that has been a long time coming and has been needed for a long time.”

“So we are starting construction on the new EOC here in Davis County by turning dirt with shovels, but here in Davis County, we’re also breaking ground on a new chapter for emergency management,” said Davis County Emergency Manager, Ember Herrick. “Davis County emergency management is a division of the Sheriff’s Office that serves the community and seeks to improve the quality of life for our residents and businesses through prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. We’re committed to making Davis County the most resilient county in Utah to natural disasters and human caused events.”

This new EOC will be one of the safest structures in Davis County, she said. “It’s designed to withstand earthquake shaking and liquefaction with a foundation fortified with engineered Geopiers.”

 The EOC will have Starlink satellite internet phone and radio redundancy communication capabilities, said Herrick. “An emergency generator will provide backup power to keep the facility operational in a sustained power outage. It also has features that will allow central staff activated in a disaster to live in the building through recovery.”

Before a disaster strikes, the EOC will play an essential role in coordinating preparedness efforts and ensuring that emergency responders are properly trained. It’s truly a regional asset designed to benefit the entire community.”

Some facts about the EOC provided by the DCSO:

• Davis County’s new EOC will be built with grant funding from the federal Rescue Plan Act, which allocated $350 billion to help states recover from COVID and increase their capacity for disaster recovery
• Davis County has prioritized $15 million of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to build the new EOC 
• The building will have some of the following features:
• A Joint Information Center (JIC) with a chroma key wall and a media staging area for public information dissemination 
• Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) coordination room 
• Search and Rescue (SAR) coordination room
• Emergency management vehicle bay storage area 
• The latest communications technology to foster interoperability with our 15 cities, regional partners, Utah Division of Emergency Management, FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
• The latest GIS mapping technology allowing first responders and residents to transmit damage information to the EOC dashboard instantaneously so EOC staff can assess which areas are hardest hit and dispatch assistance to streamline our response and expedite recovery 
• Sleeping quarters, shower facilities, and a kitchen and dining area for EOC staff activated in a disaster through recovery 

“It’s going to be a magnificent building,” said Sparks. “But the building isn’t really important. What’s really important is the work that will be done by fantastic people inside that building every day to make sure that we protect the people in Davis County.”