Press Release: Joint Emergency Operations Center Training

Posted: 27-Nov-2013

Moraga-Orinda Fire District
1280 Moraga Way
Moraga, CA  94556
Contact: Dennis Rein, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator; 925-698-4575
Release Date:  November 27, 2013

Lamorinda Agencies Participate in Joint Emergency Operations Center Training to Better Prepare for Disasters

When disaster strikes will Lamorinda agencies be able to handle a large-scale emergency? Can city and town staff effectively coordinate and share resources? How long can the staff from any one agency sustain a 24-hour/7 day a week Emergency Operations Center (EOC)? Those are just some of the questions city, town, and fire district managers have been wrestling with.

Following the September 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion, the local Emergency Operations Center remained activated for several months. In San Bruno, handling such an extended emergency was a huge challenge. Dennis Rein, Lamorinda’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, thinks “one solution is for the agencies to train together and learn to share both personnel and resources when disaster strikes”.  That’s the reason the fire district requested that trainers come to Lamorinda over a year ago.

While each of Lamorinda’s cities has planned and exercised it’s individual jurisdiction’s EOC in the past, on December 3rd about 40 key staff representing Moraga, Orinda, Lafayette, Saint Mary’s College, the American Red Cross, Lamorinda’s Community Emergency Response Team, the Moraga-Orinda Fire District and other local cooperators will begin an intensive three-day Emergency Operations Center training. This nationally-presented, grant-funded training, taught by the Texas A&M Engineering and Extension Service, will provide an opportunity for Lamorinda staff to work closely together to manage a large-scale simulated disaster.

Participants will be coached by instructors who have extensive emergency management experience in multi-agency coordination responsibilities, processes, and procedures. They will also learn key management processes required to effectively and efficiently operate an EOC. The course concludes with an all-day hands-on exercise supported by a state-of-the-art computer simulation system.

Rein stated, “with any luck we will never need to use the training” but then added that one of his colleges often reminds him, “hoping for the best does not constitute an actual plan!”

For more information about individual emergency preparedness go to the Lamorinda Community Emergency Response Team’s website at lamorindacert.org or contact Dennis Rein at drein@mofd.org.