Texas fire department gets mobile command unit with grant money

The vehicle will be used to respond to large-scale disasters, such as floods or a Columbine-style shooting


By David Burge
The El Paso Times

EL PASO, Texas — The city Fire Department is getting a new mobile command center.

City Council members voted 8-0 Tuesday to spend about $900,000 of federal grant money to buy the 35-foot-long command center. No local tax dollars are required.

The vehicle will be used to respond to large-scale disasters, such as the 2006 floods or a Columbine-style shooting, Assistant Fire Chief Mike Calderazzo said.

More important, the center will improve communication among various fire and law enforcement agencies, he said. Eventually, it will be made available to all emergency crews in El Paso County.

The mobile command center will include satellite communication systems and a generator so it can be self-sufficient. It will have 11 workstations with access to computers, phones and radios.

The city Police Department is using a converted recreation vehicle as a command center. The Fire Department stopped using a converted Sun Metro bus several years ago.

City Manager Joyce Wilson said El Paso is one of the few major cities in the country that does not have a modern mobile command center.

Copyright 2010 El Paso Times, a MediaNews Group Newspaper
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