Chas. Co gets new consolidated emergency operations center

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - A brand new multimillion-dollar Emergency Operations Center is now open in North Charleston. The center will handle all 911 calls and emergency operations throughout Charleston County. This makes it easier for government agencies to communicate and respond to those in need.

Charleston County Council Chairman, Teddie Pryor and several top leaders celebrated the opening of the new center at a ribbon cutting ceremony.

By January of next year all 911 calls made throughout Charleston County will be answered in the new dispatch center. Workers will handle more than 1.7 million calls a year. Councilman Pryor said call dispatchers will be able to talk directly to each other as they handle calls in different jurisdictions. He also said this will reduce emergency response time of crews and save lives.

"It is a visible testament to cooperation around the municipalities, the public service districts and the Charleston County government. This is quite an achievement," said Pryor.

Down the hall, the new facilities of the Emergency Management Department will be used to coordinate agencies at the federal, state and local levels. They can provide emergency assistants to residents before and after potential disasters. The new building is earthquake resistant and will be able to withstand winds up to 190 mph.

The project was funded by Charleston County with a total cost of more than twenty six million dollars. It includes land, design fees, construction, equipment and furnishings.

Call dispatchers from the 911 center will be moved into the new building by early March.