Project Profile: Kern County Emergency Operations Center

Working with BFGC Architects Planners Inc., TA recently provided acoustical and audiovisual consulting services for the new County of Kern Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located in Bakersfield, CA. This standalone facility, nearly 7,000 square feet in size, is designed to be the command center for County operations during a disaster/emergency situation, and when not operating under an emergency situation, it is utilized by the Kern County Fire Department for training, video teleconferencing, meetings and presentations.

The three principal areas are the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the Media Room/Joint Information Center and the Conference Room.

The EOC room is the functional center of the facility. Representatives from various county, city and state services will occupy its 49 workstations during operation. TA’s design included flat panel displays on the walls for independent viewing and a large, 9-foot by 16-foot projection wall with the ability to display up to six images simultaneously from different source inputs.

In addition to cable, satellite and video conferencing, every workstation can have its image displayed in the EOC, and any master image viewed in the EOC can be sent to the executive conference room and Media Room/Joint Information Center.

Field DVD’s and video tape feeds can also be displayed for the team to view time-critical data that has been messengered in. There is also a wireless control touch panel that can roam the building and control any of the rooms. The commander has a wireless microphone to address the team in the EOC.

The Media Room and Joint Information Center are contained within a divisible conference room with an acoustical partition, movable seating and a mobile lectern with wired and wireless microphones. This space can also receive a direct AV feed from the EOC.

The 14-seat Conference Room, designed for smaller breakout meetings, has a fixed table in the center and front projection with two flat panel displays on either side, to project different source material. This room can also receive an AV feed from the EOC and is set up with videoconferencing cameras, microphones and CODEC.

In keeping with owner needs, the system was designed to provide good coverage for audio and video and maximum versatility while requiring minimal staff to maintain and operate. TA was pleased to be selected to assist in creating this state-of-the-art, centralized emergency and disaster response site that supports multiple agencies and jurisdictions in the State of California.