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Santa Barbara County breaks ground on new fire communications center

eoc groundbreaking.jpg
Posted at 6:47 PM, Apr 25, 2023

Santa Barbara County broke ground Tuesday on the new Regional Fire Communications Center, which includes an expansion of the Emergency Operations Center.

County officials say this is a step toward the creation of a dispatch center dedicated to calls for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and fire response.

The center will provide dispatch services for all emergency medical services in the county as well as seven fire departments: Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District, Santa Barbara City Fire Department, Montecito Fire Protection District, Lompoc Fire Department, Guadalupe Fire Protection District, and Santa Maria Fire Department.

The goal is to decrease response times for first responders.

"We truly will be looking at the totality of the county and all of the fire and EMS units that are moving around and we're going to be grabbing the units that are needed. The computer-aided dispatch will grab those units and send the closest unit regardless of jurisdiction," said Chief Chris Mailes, Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

The new center is located in Santa Barbara.

Officials say the project will cost more than $17 million and is expected to be completed in March 2024.