By Tamas Mondovics
Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, emergency operations officials, Fire Rescue personnel, members of the community and the media celebrated the opening of the County’s New Public Safety Operations Complex (PSOC) last month in Brandon.
Following a ribbon cutting ceremony, attendees had a chance to tour the new $36 million dollar facility located at 9450 E. Columbus Dr., which now becomes the new home to Fire Rescue headquarters and the County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Sitting on 20 acres between U.S. Hwy. 301 and Falkenburg Rd. the project was funded by the Public Safety Improvement Bond Project and General Revenue funds. While the price tag is high, officials said that the facility brings together several major public safety buildings and critical support functions into one location.
“This is an amazing new facility and will become the center of our community as aside from our fire stations throughout the county, it brings all of fire rescue’s buildings together as well as our government operations into one location in case of emergency,” said County Fire Rescue Chief Dennis Jones.
Built to the highest hurricane rating construction standards, the 52,000-sq. ft. main building houses Fire Rescue’s command staff, Emergency Dispatch Center and the high-tech Emergency Operations Center, to serve residents during major storms and other emergencies.
“This is a really big deal for our county,” said Commissioner Sandra Murman whose district touches the county’s shoreline. “This complex is very important as safety and security is on the mind of our residents especially during hurricane season and safety and security is what this new complex is all about.”
While commenting on the need for the new PSOC, County Commissioner Stacy White drew attention to what makes the new facility functional when he said, “This new facility is important, but it is the people who work inside that make the real difference.”
County Emergency Operations Director Preston Cook also emphasized the reason for the new complex when he said, “Our citizens now have a facility they deserve.”
For more information about Hillsborough County and the new PSOC, please visit www.hcflgov.net.