Local Officials Discuss Streamlining EOC Operations

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Emergency management representatives from Bryan, College Station, Brazos County and Texas A&M are looking to streamline their operations. One idea, is merging all four entities that serve Brazos County, into one.

"In times of emergency, this community really does function as a community and we might as well formalize that and find ways to move forward in the most cost effective way to respond," said James Massey, Texas A&M University.

Right now for local emergency management operations, there are four plans, four budgets and four operation centers. This proposal would bring all emergency operations together under one roof.

"There would be offices, there would be places for emergency staff to come together. They would have telecommunication infrastructure, the computers, all the other equipment they would need in one location," said Massey.

County Judge Randy Sims says he is in favor of the idea.

"At least we could be housed under one roof and possibly save some money by consolidating," said Judge Randy Sims, Brazos County.

Sims says all local entities need to be prepared for emergency situations. Bringing their operations together would help better their communication which was called into question during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"We've just got to be ready and I think the consolidation effort would help us in easier communication," said Sims.

Massey says the next step is get acceptance from the two city councils, county commissioners and the university.

"Then the staffs and others will come together, develop feasibility to determine how much it would cost and how it might be managed," said Massey.

There is no set timeline for the possible project. But Massey says the project needs move forward sooner rather than later.