Mobile Command Center Helps Ready PRC For Next Disaster

It's one of only two in the entire state. An 18-wheeler that hauls high tech communications equipment to emergency scenes.

"We never know when there's going to be an oil spill of some sort, or a train derailment, or any kind of catastrophe could happen and we would need this unit," Pearl River County Board President Bettye Stockstill.

"Not just hurricanes, but tornadoes or anywhere we might have to set up a large search and rescue operation," Sheriff Joe Stuart said.

He says this 50 foot trailer is loaded with all of the technology first responders need to handle crises.

"We have a satellite system inside were we can do internet capabilities, voice, IP, fax capabilities and we also will have satellite phones in it. Do anything you could do in an office, I can do out of this trailer," Pearl River County EMA Director Bobby Strahan.

The feature Strahan is most excited about is a piece of equipment that allows him to link different types of emergency radios from several different departments or agencies onto the same frequency.

"We can talk to each other. Without that we couldn't do it," Strahan said.

The $300,000 command center was a gift from the Pearl River County Sheriff's Department. They seized it during a drug forfeiture proceeding. Corporate donations helped purchase the equipment.

"It's all part of a large corporate effort to improve the quality of life where we operate," said Mike Fitzwilliam with Chevron.

"Dupont's core values are safety and the support of the community, and this fits well with both of those core values," said Ben Midgette with Dupont DeLisle.

For the EOC, its all about being prepared. Pearl River County leaders say it will make the command center available to any community that needs it, including areas out of state.