Crisis response ability boosted

The Nelson Tasman region's new emergency operations centre, officially opened in Richmond today, will enable a higher level of response capability, say emergency management officials.

Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne, Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese, Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management director John Hamilton were at the dawn blessing by kaumatua Andy Joseph, along with the building developer and owner Mark Fawcett of Fawdan Developments.

The centre is jointly funded by the two councils and provides a purpose built facility for the emergency services and council staff in the event of an emergency.

Within the centre the response teams have access to specialist emergency management systems, software and back-up communications.

The centre has been built to withstand a significant earthquake and still function with independent water and power systems.

The centre has a floor level above the predicted level for a 1 in 500 year flood.

When not in use as an emergency centre it is home to four permanent staff whose focus is regional preparedness. The centre can also be used for training and works with Rural Fire and other organisations to provide a venue for their needs.

The Nelson Mail