August 28, 2017

Your Bellaire Emergency Operations Center

This afternoon I had an opportunity for a quick visit with our EOC personnel.  They’re working nonstop on 12-hour rotations, but in great spirits and clearly taking pride in the job they’re doing for our community.  They told me they know how much we all appreciate them … but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to tell them again.

It’s a big team involving every city department.  First responders from Police and Fire, along with the Public Works crews, are most visible out in the field.  Back at the EOC they’ve got administrative and logistics support from the City Manager’s office, Parks & Rec, Library, Finance and others.  Everyone is doing their part.

The Communications division, working out of our emergency dispatch center, provides the first point of contact.  Trained phone operators are answering questions from residents and routing and tracking calls for service, as well as maintaining communications with first responders out in the field.  Incident commanders and section chiefs are constantly planning and prioritizing; coordinating with state, county and other agencies, including for additional resources; and distributing information and updates.  The Administration and Logistics sections are, among many other things, taking care of those who are taking care of us, ensuring they’re fed and well-rested, and ready to perform their best throughout each rotation.

The individuals working around the clock in our EOC (and staying there between shifts) have their own problems waiting for them at home.  Many—probably most—of them have been directly impacted by this storm.  Some, I’ve confirmed, live in especially hard-hit areas and have lost everything, and not for the first time either.  Yet, they’ve set all that aside in service to us, and are doing an outstanding, admirable job.  I’ve reassured them of our support, that the City of Bellaire stands behind them and will do all we can to help them when it’s our turn.