From Harford County government:
The Harford County Department of Emergency Services officially “broke ground” Sunday, August 4, 2013 for a new state-of-the art facility. The ceremony, held adjacent to the existing DES facility, was attended by more than 100 people including local, state and federal officials, local fire and EMS service providers, local and state law enforcement officials, employees and other stakeholders.
The existing facility, which houses the Harford County 9 1 1 Center and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was built nearly 52 years ago. The facility was renovated in 1982 and again in 1997. The current DES facility is a 37,800 square foot structure. The new building is being constructed with space for expansion and operations during the next 25 years. Upon completion of both phases in December 2015 the new DES facility will be approximately 116,000 square feet.
The local architecture firm of Edmeades and Stromdahl has worked on developing this project with Harford County Government since 2008. The firm of J. Vinton Schaefer is the General Contractor for the project.
The new and improved DES facility will be constructed in two phases: Phase I will encompass a 66,000 square foot building which will be home to the EOC, administrative offices and the Communications Center. Phase II will include an additional 50,000 square feet of space for the Harford County Hazardous Materials Response Team and the radio shop.
The two-phase construction project is critical to providing efficient and effective public safety support services to the citizens of Harford County both now and for the foreseeable future.
The budget for Phase I construction is $32 million. The total cost for Phase II is $13 million.
The Harford County Department of Emergency Service, previously known as the Division of Emergency Operations, works closely with 12 independent volunteer fire and EMS departments throughout the county, as well as the parent organization, the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association. Additionally, the Department supports local, county and state law enforcement officials in their efforts to provide the best possible service to the citizens of Harford County.
Additionally, the Department of Emergency Services works cooperatively with Exelon Power, owner and operator of the Peach Bottom Power Plant, to ensure the public is well informed and prepared regarding any potential events involving the power plant or surrounding communities, including Harford County.
Furthermore, the Department has worked hand-in-hand for decades with the military and civilian personnel assigned to the Aberdeen Proving Ground. This relationship has grown as the result of BRAC and the new role, duties and responsibilities of APG.
“Harford County has been a fire service leader for many years. The Department of Emergency Services works closely with a number of stakeholders in the public safety community and will soon have a facility our citizens can be proud of with the taxes they provide for this vital project,” Harford County Executive David R. Craig said.
Commenting on the construction of a new facility for the Department of Emergency Services, Director Russell J. Strickland said, “The Department of Emergency Services is a vital component of Harford County Government and provides 24 hour service, 365 days a year, to the people of Harford County. The new facility will greatly enhance our capabilities to provide this service, and is designed to meet the needs of this growing county for many years to come”.
Harford County has a population of nearly 250,000 people and covers nearly 500 square miles.