Surrey's new "Mobile Incident Command Post" is ready to take on the direst of regional emergencies.
"We are well prepared," Mayor Dianne Watts said, after touring the 53-foot-long rig, built in Cloverdale by International Truck Body.
"We have the largest RCMP detachment in Canada and one of the largest fire departments in the country," Watts noted. "We need to be prepared for emergencies and able to respond swiftly and effectively when they occur."
The $629,000 command post is equipped with satellite technology, a self-contained power system, six computer dispatch stations for Surrey RCMP, firefighters, ambulance and search and rescue personnel, a touch-sensitive smart board, big screen television monitor, a meeting table for high-level decision making, a high-resolution camera perched atop a 30-foot tall boom, with a lens that can zoom in on stuff going on outside, and of course, there's a loo.
The cost for the unit was split between the Surrey RCMP and Surrey fire department.
It can be used in event of natural disaster, for major accident sites, crime sites, fires, riots and large city festivals, to name some situations.
"This new and improved mobile command centre will enable the police to stage and deploy our resources with the best available information and assets to ensure the public's safety at large scale city events and unfolding police emergencies," said Insp. Garry Begg, assistant operations officer for the Surrey RCMP.
He's pleased this new rig will be replacing the "decrepit" 1992 RV "we sort of duct taped together."
Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis also sang the state-of-the-art command post's praises.
"The enhanced technology provides all the capabilities needed to manage natural and manmade emergencies," Garis said, "and gives us the ability to communicate, observe and moderate events."
By the way, those readers who are dreading the inevitable zombie apocalypse will be pleased to know that the rig is also impervious to attacks from the walking dead.
"Is it zombie proof? Absolutely," Watts assured.