REDMOND, Ore. - (Update with comments from officials)
The Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center unveiled its new facility to the public on Thursday with a formal ribbon-cutting at the new location by the Redmond Air Center.
The new 7,000-square-foot facility will provide services to the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, BLM Prineville District, the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests and the Crooked River National Grassland.
The building is owned by the city of Redmond, and the new center will operate under a 20-year lease held by the dispatch agencies.
"We believe this dispatch center will allow us to take good public service of the past to even a higher level of public service to serve the communities of Central Oregon," said Deschutes National Forest Supervisor John Allen.
The old dispatch center was located in a trailer at the Prineville Airport and was only a temporary location until officials found the right spot for their central command center.
"We are very ready for the fire season," Allen said. "The inter-agency corporation here in Central Oregon is superlative, as seen by our fire here last week outside of Bend, and this dispatch center is only going to help us do our job more effectively."
Dispatch center agencies worked closely with the city officials from Redmond to design the facility that met the unique needs of a dispatch operation.
Redmond Mayor George Endicott said having this new building located near the air center and behind Roberts Field will play a vital role when it comes to a natural disaster.