Numerous city officials attended a formal opening for the newly
renovated Emergency Operations Center this week, and most agreed the
city was prepared for the possibility of a terrorist attack or other
The city spent about $200,000 on the renovations to the EOC, but
City Manager Mary Alvord said she doesn’t see any more major
security-related expenditures in the city’s immediate future.
“We have state-of-the-art safety service agencies,” she said. “All
our fire stations are relatively new and have new paramedic
equipment. I think we’re in pretty good shape.”
While the renovation of the EOC is the most visible recent
security upgrade, Alvord said the city has improved security at
places such as Burbank Water & Power facilities, but not necessarily
made those moves public. Director Ron Davis said the utility has
added more guards, fences and security cameras.
For fire officials, the priority for preparing for a potential
terrorist attack is on securing funding for more equipment and
training, Fire Chief Mike Davis said. While firefighters are
well-trained for fires and other emergencies, he said the situations
that would be caused by a biological or chemical attack are unique,
and often require new equipment.
“Bringing in the equipment, providing the training -- it all takes
money,” Mike Davis said. “In this day and age, we’re being asked to
do that while we’re having our budgets cut.”
The EOC will be activated as part of a drill at the airport in
early May, Fire Capt. Ron Barone said. As the nerve center of the
city’s disaster preparedness, officials hope its activation, along
with their other preparations, will keep the city running in the
event of a disaster.
“Hopefully, we’ve covered all our needs for the immediate and
distant future,” he said.