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Officials say city prepared

Ben Godar

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

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disaster.

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.

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“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.

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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

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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.


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