A disaster preparedness plan is under development in Commerce which is expected to become a model for other cities throughout Los Angeles County. The plan will take an estimated two years to complete and refine.
Commerce officials have signed an agreement with the county Fire Department for the loan of Capt. Jesus Burciaga to draft the plan as the city’s disaster preparedness officer. Under the agreement, Commerce will pay 70% of the salary and benefits and all of the costs for services, supplies and clerical support. The county will pay the remainder. Burciaga, a 13-year veteran of the county Fire Department, previously was assigned to a station in West Hollywood.
Burciaga said the first phase of the plan is to set up an emergency operating center in the city’s old Fire Station 27, 5605 Sheila St., about a block away from City Hall. The old station, now occupied by an ambulance company, will be remodeled to serve as a headquarters for city employees, police and fire officers, commercial business representatives and residents in the event of a major disaster.
The stated goal of the readiness plan is to improve communications and coordination during major emergencies, predetermine the use of local emergency resources and enhance citizen involvement in disaster response efforts.