Officials from Fulton and Montgomery counties unveiled a new mobile command trailer on Wednesday, marking the completion of a joint effort between the two county governments dating back to 2013.
The trailer will be used in situations in both counties where law enforcement or emergency services need to stay on site for an extended period of time, said Montgomery County Emergency Services Director Jeffery T. Smith.
“I hope we never have to use it,” Smith said. He noted the trailer will be useful in the event of a major flood, fire, missing person or train derailment, for instance. There are also more benign cases during which the trailer might be used, such as at a concert.
Steven Santa Maria, Fulton County civil defense director and fire coordinator, echoed Smith’s comment in hoping to never have to deploy the trailer, but said “we’re very happy to have this tool in our toolbox. Hopefully we won’t need it too much.”
The trailer, which was outfitted by Alpin Haus, features a meeting room, a kitchen with a sink, freezer, fridge and microwave, a bathroom and, toward the front of the trailer, an office with a large corkboard and desks with communications equipment.
“All the work has finally been completed, all the bills are paid,” said Smith, admiring the trailer.
Alpin Haus President Andy Heck said his company was contacted by emergency officials and was happy to assist in making the command trailer a reality. Outfitting it was a completely custom job, he added, and was based on input from emergency officials about what their needs were.
“We just figured out how we could make it all work,” said Heck of the design and build process. “Knowing what our counties have gone through … it’s really set up pretty well for all four seasons.”
“It’s part of being a part of the community,” added Heck of his company’s participation in the project. “You have to be a good corporate citizen.”
Emergency officials in both counties reached an agreement that if there is an event in one of the counties, personnel from the other county will pick up the trailer and bring it to the site of the emergency so as not to draw resources from initial responders.
Smith added that all of the electronic devices in the trailer are hooked up to a single-switch generator, so time won’t be wasted securing a power source when responding to an emergency.
Officials said the trailer will be kept at the county annex building in Fonda. Montgomery County spokesman Andrew Santillo said both counties bought the trailer in 2013 with grant money and retrofitted it with a $13,000 homeland security grant.