A new Local Emergency Operations Centre will become Newcastle’s go-to site in an emergency situation.
The state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility on Stewart Avenue was toured by a dozen different emergency service representatives this morning.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the site would provide emergency services with improved connectivity, efficiency and personal comfort, which could prove crucial in a major incident.
“This new state-of-the-art facility launches our emergency response operations into the 21st Century,” she said.
“It allows us to work closely with the services, providing the best possible facilities and resources to support our emergency agencies on the ground assisting the community in times of disaster when they are counting on us to respond swiftly and efficiently.”
The opening was timed to coincide with the official start of bushfire season on 1 October.
The new LEOC at the City Administration Centre replaces the 30-year-old facility at Tighes Hill, which no longer complies with modern standards.
The new site also replaces a temporary response centre established at Newcastle Library during the 2019 catastrophic bushfire event.
The LEOC’s technology and flexible design allows emergency services, including Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Police, Ambulance NSW and the NSW SES, to join with City of Newcastle and other agencies to coordinate responses to a range of incidents and natural disasters.
Features include multiple 85 and 65-inch screens with live-stream capabilities; a 16-seat conferencing facility with wireless presentation and TV connectivity for news coverage, weather and traffic updates; 32-seat room and the ability to create breakaway spaces; as well as a commercial kitchen capable of providing meals in the event of a city-wide blackout.
The co-location of the LEOC on the sixth floor of the City Administration Centre ensures this comprehensive range of amenities and support facilities are readily available in a central location, with access to backup power on site via two diesel-powered generators.