GRAYSON CO., TX – Monday morning the Commissioners Court recognized the Information Technology and Facilities Management teams for their help with the Office of Emergency Management. After working for over a year on the Emergency Operations Center they've got it up and running, and ready for use in 2010.
A few years ago, when Grayson County set out to create a full time Emergency Management Office, there was no office, and no Emergency Operations Center.
"It's a big deal to finally have a functional environment," said Emergency Management Coordinator for Grayson County, Sarah Somers.
But through federal funds and grants, planning and the dedication of the I.T. staff and Facilities Management, we now have new state of the art E.O.C.
"Lots of ingenuity, working with an old building as this court house is, having to cable it having to design it in such a way as that you have back up power to everything, basically just modernizing an antique room," said Ken Miller, the leader of Grayson County’s I.T. staff.
A team of only six I.T. employees, and only four facilities management workers, designed and built a fully functioning and self sufficient work environment.
"I have a very dynamic crew to do what we do with the number of people we have and to do it well, so it means a lot when people recognize that," said Miller.
Complete with an augmented dispatch system, a white board scanner, and advanced mapping technology, Somers says they're ready for anything.
"We don't like to hope for bad things to come into Grayson County, but when they do we're ready,” said Somers.
All of this new technology won't just be used for emergency response; it'll also be used for meetings, training, and after action reviews.
"Grayson County is a lot further ahead than other counties in technology and like I said the only reason we're that way is because we do have the support of the Commissioners Court. So I'm proud of what we've done and what my crew's done here,” said Miller.
This new technology system also comes at a time when residents can get involved with the Community Emergency Response Team. CERT training for 2010 starts tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. in the second floor assembly room of the courthouse.
Somers says the training can help you work on skills and preparedness for your family and work place, or train you to volunteer in a team environment to help emergency responders.
CERT training is free and open to anyone 18 years or older. Each graduate will receive a CERT go-kit, which is a backpack full of preparedness tools.