Westfield to Purchase Mobile Command Center and Other Emergency Equipment
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 • 10:26am
WESTFIELD, NJ — At the March 5 Town Council meeting, the Westfield Town Council announced that Westfield will purchase public safety equipment including a permanent generator for the Department of Public Works and a mobile command center to be used in emergencies, as well as for everyday needs.
During the days after Superstorm Sandy, the municipal building ran on an emergency backup generator for 10 days, Mayor Andy Skibitsky explained at a council conference meeting held earlier that evening.
The emergency command center can act as a generator when backup generators fail or when a building has no generator. Councilwoman Jo Ann Neylan noted that the town could have saved the money it spent on a generator for one of the schools just after Sandy hit if it had owned the mobile command center then.
The command center can also act as a secondary dispatch center.
“Redundancies in our communication system is critical,” said Skibitsky. “We have to be able to communicate and we can’t rely on other communities or entities to take care of us.”
In addition to use during emergencies, the command center will be used for special events, Town Administrator Jim Gildea told the council.
“It is of vital importance that we continue to research for ways to enhance our residents’ safety,” Westfield Police Chief David Wayman later told TAP. “This equipment is a significant step going forward in increasing the abilities of the three disciplines of our emergency services—police, fire and rescue squad.”
At the town council meeting, Councilman Sam Della Fera credited Wayman for finding the command center, giving the council a chance to see it and negotiating a good price for it.
“It’s being provided to us at a substantial discount, thanks to the efforts of Chief Wayman,” said Della Fera.
All council members voted yes to carry Special Ordinance No. 2180: “Bond ordinance to authorize the making of various public improvements and the acquisition of new additional or replacement equipment and machinery in, by and for the town of Westfield, in the county of Union, state of New Jersey, to appropriate the sum of $360,000 to pay the cost thereof, to make a down payment, to authorize the issuance of bonds to finance such appropriation and to provide for the issuance of bond anticipation notes in anticipation of the issuance of such bonds.”