Officials open renovated emergency management center

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence’s newly-expanded Emergency Management Operations Center officially opened its doors on Wednesday.

Officials said the new facility significantly expands the agency’s capability, which they hope will enhance public safety throughout the entire metro area.

“As the first city in the United States to receive national accreditation of its emergency management agency, PEMA is respected and recognized as one of the best municipal emergency response units in the nation,” said Mayor Angel Taveras.

Taveras was joined at the ribbon-cutting ceremony by Providence Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Peter Gaynor, along with other state and local officials. The grand opening ceremony was held on the two-year anniversary of the state preparing for Superstorm Sandy.

“The Providence EOC is a state-of-the-art facility that will greatly impact our ability to respond in the event of a large scale emergency, ensuring that PEMA is properly equipped and has adequate space to be able to accommodate a large team of emergency management professionals working around the clock,” Gaynor said.

The $2.75 million project created a 9,000 square-foot expansion that enables regional, around-the-clock emergency management capability. The building is complete with a training center, offices, kitchen, full bathrooms, lockers and showers, medical clinic, and sleeping quarters.

“This state-of-the-art facility will strengthen Rhode Island’s emergency preparedness and enhance our ability to respond to a large-scale disaster,” said Congressman David Cicilline.

The new operations center will provide necessary resources and emergency support to other Rhode Island communities in the event of a major emergency.

“This is a win for the City of Providence and all the Rhode Island communities that this facility serves, and I am proud of Rhode Island’s investment in emergency preparedness,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Most of the money used for the expansion was provided by the federal government.

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