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Fayette accepts $1 million grant for emergency operations center

Fayette County officials formally announced Dec. 15 that the county won a $1 million grant to construct a new emergency operations center.

The existing EOC is located on the second floor of the county’s administrative building in downtown Fayetteville and is widely seen as being susceptible should a disaster strike in the area. Ideally, the EOC should be located on ground level for safety purposes, officials said.

The county plans to build the emergency operations center on land it already owns at the corner of Lee Street and Melear Way, just off Ga. Highway 85 South. Part of the project will include a new county fire station for downtown Fayetteville.

The grant award to the Fayette County Emergency Management Agency was announced by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal Nov. 4.

While the EOC is designed to be used in the case of a disaster, it often has been activated in advance of potentially extreme severe weather, such as the tornados earlier this year that ultimately missed Fayette County.

Prior to applying for the grant, a third party assessment of the current EOC determined that it did not meet a number of criteria established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to Public Safety Director Allen McCullough.

The assessment criteria included sustainability, survivability, security, communications and interoperability, officials said.

The new EOC will enhance the safety of emergency management personnel and also significantly improve the coordination of response and interoperability to incidents in the community and throughout the region, county officials said.

Replacing the emergency operations center has been in the county’s capital budget for about 10 years, County Manager Jack Krakeel has said.

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