Los Angeles Emergency Operations integrates emergency response technologies.Earthquakes, fires and civil disturbances dominated national news coverage of Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County for more than three years in the early 1990s. Between February 1992 and April 1995, the longest period in which the county was not under a disaster declaration was six months.
With its unique topography, diverse population and location squarely in the center of one of the most seismically active areas in the world, it's not hard to see why. Los Angeles County includes 88 cities and 136 unincorporated areas for a combined population of almost 9.1 million on 4,083 square miles. The terrain varies from coastal plains to mountains to desert, ranging from nine feet below sea level to 10,000 feet above sea level. Accelerated seismic activity is predicted for the foreseeable future.
Emergencies here are neither rare nor are they ever small matters. In almost every case, emergency response teams -- comprised of representatives from the Sheriff's Office, Chief Administrative Office, Fire, Public Works public works
Construction projects, such as highways or dams, financed by public funds and constructed by a government for the benefit or use of the general public.
Noun 1. , Internal Services, Health Services health services Managed care The benefits covered under a health contract , Public Social Services social services
welfare services provided by local authorities or a state agency for people with particular social needs
social services npl → servicios mpl sociales and Coroner -- are called upon to work together to resolve the crisis.
In the past, coordinating emergency response efforts was difficult. In many cases, the professionalism, training and heroism of various law enforcement and emergency response agencies (and the efficiency of tested emergency procedures) carried the day. However, in the early 1990s, it became clear that another tool was necessary to protect the growing population of Los Angeles. And so in April 1995, Los Angeles County christened its new, state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center The Emergency Operations Center, or EOC, is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management, or disaster management functions at a strategic level in an emergency situation, and ensuring (EOC EOC Emergency Operations Center
EOC Equal Opportunities Commission (UK)
EOC Educational Opportunity Center
EOC End Of Course
EOC Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
EOC Environment of Care (JCAHO) ).
Most EOCs in this country were designed and built in the 1950s. While many of them protect well against nuclear threats, most are ill-equipped to handle disasters as they happen today. They are usually bunker-style concrete facilities built into hillsides with tables, chairs and a few phone lines.
Unfortunately, for the disaster most likely to strike the Los Angeles area -- an earthquake -- that kind of facility, in all likelihood, would be so severely damaged it would be rendered unusable. Communication, which is the single most important element during any disaster response, would be jeopardized, as phone lines are one of the first communication links to be lost in an earthquake.
The Los Angeles County Emergency Operations Center is a 36,322-square-foot facility fully dedicated to emergency management. Its design and systems are based on the need for 24-hour operation of the facility during any and all emergencies in a completely self-sufficient, safe environment for a period of seven days without resupply re·sup·ply
tr.v. re·sup·plied, re·sup·ply·ing, re·sup·plies
To provide with fresh supplies, as of weapons and ammunition.
re . All mechanical and electrical systems, as well as all technical support systems, have full backup See backup types. systems in place.
The facility itself is designed to withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8.3, and is protected by base-isolation technology. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Eloy Retamal, the project's structural engineer, the entire building rests on 28 base isolators (elastomeric bearings) that allow the building to move 16 inches in any horizontal direction. This absorbs ground-motion energy and protects all mission personnel and equipment. All of the utility connections also are flexible and capable of moving with the building, so no utilities would be lost due to movement of the facility.
The core of the EOC is the Incident Management Center, also called "The Situation Room." There, using the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS SEMS Standardized Emergency Management System
SEMS Screw and Washer Assemblies
SEMS Student Emergency Medical Services (various universities)
SEMS Support Enforcement Management System ), each of the eight county departments essential to emergency response are represented by their own team members, with dedicated computer workstations for each department. The centralization cen·tral·ize
v. cen·tral·ized, cen·tral·iz·ing, cen·tral·iz·es
1. To draw into or toward a center; consolidate.
2. of the Incident Management Center is a crucial component in the coordination and sharing of information, ensuring that resources are directed to the areas most in need during a crisis.
"State-of-the-art mapping technology enables response teams to pinpoint, down to street level, everything from where utilities are located to where the nearest emergency vehicle is positioned," says Lt. Steve Gattis, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's project liaison and on-site project manager. "Our audio/video system allows constant monitoring of all major networks and satellite transmissions, keeping personnel aware of changes as they happen, regardless of the operational capacity of local news agencies.
When designing the EOC, the first concern was to have the appropriate technology to enhance the county's ability to deal with emergencies. It was important that the facility be housed in a structure that could withstand almost any kind of disaster itself. But the facility also was designed to accommodate the third critical element in any disaster: the people in charge.
The Los Angeles County EOC was carefully designed for the safety and comfort of the emergency personnel who must work and live there when disaster strikes.
"Emergency personnel are people," says Gattis. "They have loved ones loved ones npl → seres mpl queridos
loved ones npl → proches mpl et amis chers
loved ones love npl , friends and property that are affected by disasters. Realizing that stress will be high, every facet of the EOC was designed with the idea that people were going to have to perform at the peak of their abilities while under tremendous pressure."
Dormitory quarters, a kitchen, a food-storage area and a dining room are provided. Even the chairs at each respective workstation are ergonomically designed to reduce back stress and, if necessary, recline re·cline
v. re·clined, re·clin·ing, re·clines
To cause to assume a leaning or prone position.
To lie back or down. for a quick nap.
Careful attention was paid to light and sound in the EOC and the Incident Management Center. Though there is abundant artificial lighting for emergency operations on the first floor, great effort was taken to ensure the availability of natural light for personnel who work in the building on a daily basis. The acoustics acoustics (ək`stĭks) [Gr.,=the facts about hearing], the science of sound, including its production, propagation, and effects. also were designed so that noise would be kept to a minimum.
Natural and man-made disasters man-made disaster Technological disaster Public health An event in which a significant number of people are injured or die as a result of human devices or activities, unrelated to conflicts, and attributed to operator error–eg, Exxon Valdez are a fact of life in Los Angeles County. While most would prefer never to have to use the EOC, county officials know that natural and manmade emergencies are an inevitable part of their future. The new Los Angeles County Emergency Operations Center will ensure that the county's citizens and leaders are better informed and protected into the next century.
Sherman Block is sheriff of Los Angeles County and serves as Los Angeles County's Director of Emergency Operations. Susan Keegan Gary is vice president of the international architectural/engineering firm of Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall (DMJM DMJM Daniel, Mann, Johnson, & Mendenhall (architecture, engineering, and construction services firm) ).