Tooele Emergency Operations Center
Because of local conditions and activities, Tooele County determined they needed an Emergency Operations Center that featured all of the specialized communications and back-up systems to operate continuously during the most critical and severe natural and man-made emergencies. They needed to have a facility that contained an operations room with advanced audio-visual technology that 60 workers could work in a collaborative manner while being able to individually direct emergency response instructions to varied independent functions who were involved in the emergency response.
Because of stressful conditions imposed on workers during emergency operation activation, the building needed to offer a generous amount of controlled natural daylight and a positive visual connection to the surrounding environment. Their former headquarters, as is common in this service, was located in a windowless basement where workers were totally disconnected form their surroundings. Emergency capabilities include potable water storage, sewerage containment, sleeping quarters, food service, emergency power generation and building boilers that run on diesel and natural gas, and a faraday-shielded room for high-frequency and very-high frequency communications and computer systems. Because back-up systems are rather costly, it was a challenge to provide these essential ingredients and stay within the established budget.
Today the Tooele EOC carries on its mission in a normally quiet and subdued manner. Trainings and activations which are conducted regularly punctuate the usually benign facility in a busy and hurried manner. The people who work here are a very dedicated and well-trained group who know that when a disaster of any type occurs, they can perform with precision and professionalism the functions that will save lives and lessen the impact to those who are affected by disaster. The facility provides comfort and convenience and a surprising connection to the outside world for those who serve there.
- 2009, Mountain States Construction, "Best Small Project"