March 20, 2017

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to be Held for New
Regional Emergency Communications Center

BY JOY CRIST

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Monday, April 3 at 2:00 p.m. for the brand new Regional Emergency Communications Center (RECC), which will serve Dare, Hyde and Tyrrell counties, and which will double as the Dare County Emergency Operations Center.

The new 18,200 square foot building, which is located at 370 Airport Road in Manteo, will be home to a new regional public safety facility which will deliver 911 communication services for the trio of counties, and which will also serve as the home of the administrative offices for Dare County Emergency Management and Dare County EMS.

Dare, Hyde and Tyrrell are the first three counties in North Carolina to consolidate emergency 911 communications. Currently, the three individual counties operate their own individual public safety answering point (PSAP.)

Once calls are dispatched from the new facility, 911 staff will be communicating with over 50 agencies to provide emergency services in the three county-area which covers approximately 3,400 miles.

Dare county officials report that the average number of calls has been estimated at 153,000 per year, or one call every 30 seconds. The overall operation is expected to diminish duplicate data and redundancies through data sharing, intercommunications, and standardized training and operating procedures.

The new building also provides administrative offices for the Dare County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), where agencies come together to work during emergency response and recovery operations, such as hurricanes. Located across from the North Carolina Aquarium, the new the RECC is constructed above the 100-year flood plain, which is critical both for RECC operations during hurricanes and flooding, as well as meeting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommendations for emergency management.

The building was constructed on a plot of land donated by the county, which saved an initial cost during the project.  In addition, because 911 communications services were consolidated for the three counties, the overall project was eligible for grant funding from the state of North Carolina’s E911 fund, which equaled more than half of the approximate $14.1 million cost of the project.

Everyone is welcome to attend the ceremony, and celebrate the completion of the RECC project, which has been three years in the making. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:00 p.m., the public is free to tour the building and enjoy light refreshments.

            
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