Teresa Mendoza / Courier
Chief Perez (right) informs cadets about the capabilities of the new Emergency Operation Center (EOC) located in the CC building at PCC on Sept. 25, 2012. The National Management Emergency System is accessible at the EOC.

The campus Emergency Operations Center, in room 206 in the CC Building, is a room designed with the technology and personnel needs that an incident commander would need, at his disposal in a time of emergency.

There are six flat screen TVs around the room and Dell computers at every desk, which also have headsets that connect to landlines telephones. Chief of Police Stanton Perez said that in a time of emergency on campus, everything would run through the EOC under his command.

“Activate the EOC!” said Perez, “If I radioed that into dispatch, it would mean that something big was happening here on campus. I would become the Incident Commander and decide, with the help of my command staff, what our moves would be during the situation… Honestly, no one in the city has an operations center like this EOC.”

Public Relations Director Juan Gutierrez would act as the public information officer (PIO) and would work on rumor control during an incident and update the public on what was going on.

“During the wind storms last [year],” said Gutierrez, “we used the opportunity as a drill, and sent out the Facebook and PCC website alerts saying that [classes were] canceled. We would act similarly in other incidents.”

Gutierrez used the situation to do what he and his staff would do if a more serious emergency occurred on campus. He said that he would turn his staff into a Joint Information Center, which would work out of the Cap and Gown room on the ground floor of the CC Building.

“Our job would be to run rumor control,” said Gutierrez. “We would talk to the media and keep everyone informed on the situation.”

The command staff under Perez would consist of a PIO, a Safety Officer who would monitor incident operations related to the safety and health of the first responders (officers/paramedics) and a Liaison Officer, who would be the point of contact for other government agencies and non-government agencies.

Perez said that PCC officials had talked about also offering use of the EOC to Caltech, Pasadena Police Department and JPL as a base of operations, if they ever had an incident on its campus.

“Caltech has a longstanding relationship with PCC and its police department,” said Caltech’s Associate Vice President for Facilities Jim Cowell, in the winter of 2011. “The addition of the new emergency operations center will enhance this relationship and we look forward to joint emergency response exercises in the future.”

Perez said the EOC is also being used to help all the campus cadets get entry-level training in the National Incident Management System. He said that it was one of his goals when he became chief to do so.

Teresa Mendoza / Courier
Chief Perez (right) informs cadets about the capabilities of the new Emergency Operation Center (EOC) located in the CC building at PCC on Sept. 25, 2012. Officer Tyler James Robins was present in the EOC room. The National Management Emergency System is accessible at the EOC.

“I’m having the cadets get certified in different programs,” said Captain of the Cadets Marisol Riebeling, who is also a student at PCC. She said that the cadets were in the process of learning about NIMS.

Perez said that the cadets were in the last phase of class room training, which consisted of learning NIMS. He said that the next step would be to walk members of the administration through the system, which he thought would be happening in November.

“It’s just incredible,” said Perez, while sitting behind the Incident Commanders desk in the EOC. “We can do just about anything in any situation from this room. With my knowledge and experience in the field as a California Highway Patrol Chief, it’s awesome to know that we have a room like this, here at PCC.”

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