Quinn announces Emergency and Critical Response Center at Carbon - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Quinn announces Emergency and Critical Response Center at Carbondale Airport

(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)

Governor Pat Quinn announced Monday a $4.5 million investment to develop an Emergency and Critical Response Center at the Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale.

According to a news release, the center will consolidate the region's emergency medical and disaster response resources in one location.

Airport Manager Gary Schafer says when the flood of 1993 hit the heartland, the airport naturally became a base for emergency operations. He says with this center, they will be prepared for scenarios like that. 

"We saw the importance of having an airport, having the facilities of aviation. Assets like helicopters and airplanes need to be able to move people in and supplies in and then move people out," Schafer said. 

Shafer says consolidating the emergency response center will mean peace-of-mind for people in the entire region.

“It's not a source that will come from the outside. There are folks and facilities and equipment and vehicles that will be based here. So, the response will be more immediate and more coordinated," Schafer said. 

The $4.5 million center will include a permanent emergency management center, a field hospital, teaching center and a regional response center for large-scale natural disasters.

 10,000 square feet of the hangar will be designated as a communications and command center for the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency, the Jackson County Ambulance Service and Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

The 50,000-square-foot RERC hangar building will be located between the existing Public Works Building and the National Guard facility at the airport, according to a news release.

Quinn says the development at the airport will accommodate all types of emergency response efforts.

“A quick and coordinated response to disasters saves lives and protects property,” Governor Quinn said. “Protecting the safety and well-being of all residents is our top priority and we can never be too prepared. This regional response center will help first-responders offer vital emergency and disaster services to the thousands of residents in the area.”

The development of the RERC was recommended in a plan developed by the Southern Illinois Airport Authority, Jackson Growth Alliance and former SIU Chancellor Sam Goldman.

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