Bainbridge Public Safety officers hope they will rarely have to use a new mobile command center that will help in serious emergencies, but the refurbished trailer will be ready to aid them.
The Bainbridge City Council approved payment of a $22,717.80 bill from Hall Cabinet Works of Bainbridge to refurbish a portable trailer into a command center that will help officers plan their response to emergencies like a chemical spill, natural disaster or other large-scale incident. The trailer has desks, space to keep reference books and officers can use the trailer at night because it’s powered by two generators fed by propane fuel.
The mobile command center also will boost officers’ personal safety, by giving them an air-conditioned place to seek refuge from weather or to clean off any toxic materials they are exposed to.
What is now the mobile command center used to be a surplus trailer the City of Bainbridge bought from the Federal Emergency Management Agency a couple of years ago for $2,500, according to City Manager Chris Hobby. However, the trailer was in poor condition inside so the City of Bainbridge turned to Hall Cabinet Works, which helped with the recent renovation of City Hall, to strip the trailer and refurbish it.
Bainbridge Public Safety Director Jerry Carter told the Bainbridge City Council he believed the recent explosion and chemical spill at an industrial site in West Bainbridge proved the need for a mobile command center. Carter said there were several BPS officers who had to be treated for heat exhaustion because they had to work for several hours in the summer heat in firefighter gear. Carter also envisions some incidents, such as large crime scenes or other incidents which require careful thought, that it will be useful to let officers meet inside the trailer to plan without outside noise, including the sounds of fire trucks.
BPS Director Carter said he hopes to show off the command center to the City Council and to the public at events later in November. The command center can be towed by the department’s Hazmat truck and Carter plans to let the public see the trailer up-close on multiple occasions throughout the year.