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Park City
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Emergency Operations Center Works Behind The Scenes During Park City's Big Events

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Park City Municipal Corporation

Summit County and Park City Municipal are accustomed to managing large events such as the 2002 Olympics, Sundance, the Tour of Utah and World Championship events like the current FIS competition at Canyons, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley. There’s an operations center behind the scenes that monitors every conceivable facet of this kind of large-scale special event. Carolyn Murray has this story:

Park City Emergency Manager Mike McComb oversees the Emergency Operations Center which has been operating since Sundance came to town in January. It remains activated until the closing of the FIS World Championship events on Sunday. McComb said it’s a multi-jurisdictional list of experts that make the center run.

“Everyone from the city manager to the police chief. We have Park City fire district. We have the public works director, public utilities director, Summit County sheriff public information officer, police department public information officer. We have sustainability, we have finance, special events, as I said. We have the building maintenance department, streets department. Okay, there’s 37 of them so I am going to keep going.”

To the list he adds officials from Wasatch and Summit County emergency management teams, the county health departments, transportation managers, UDOT, the department of public safety, the FBI and the department of homeland security.

For this event, the center is based out of the Park City Police Department and each morning, McComb holds a briefing. Sundance and FIS were planned events but if a major incident or a disaster happens, they would engage the appropriate agencies in a similar way and put an emergency operations command center into action.

“Major planned special events. You know, just roughly speaking, you know we’re talking large numbers, international events, international media, international attention, something like Sundance, World championships, Tour of Utah would certainly warrant it. But, then also major disasters or other incidents like that.”

They use an old-fashioned white board that updates when and where events are taking place. They also have live cameras of area streets for security purposes and traffic monitoring. They have a basket full of walkie-talkie devices, computers as well as land phone lines.  And, they keep ample supplies of Tylenol, tissues and disinfectant to keep everyone healthy.

McComb comes from a military career in emergency management and public safety.

“The capabilities needed are to work on the pillars of emergency management; prevention, preparation, planning, response, recovery, mitigation. All of those sorts of facets of emergency management. I did a career with the US Navy. Most recently at Naval Station Norfolk where I did emergency management and public safety for the world’s largest naval base. About 70-thousand people come to work there every day along with 59 ships and 19 air squadrons and 300 different commands or departments on the board the base.”

McComb said they’re expecting large crowds at Deer Valley Friday and Saturday nights and then for the closing ceremonies on Sunday beginning at 4 PM. Deer Valley is hosting the street dance on lower Main street with Lupe Fiasco as the headline act.   

 
 

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