New Emergency Operation Center for County Jail

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- Winnebago County leaders have started to unveil a new, state of the art emergency operations center aimed at connecting multiple agencies during an emergency.

Retired Rockford Fire District Chief, Jerry Wiltfang is taking on a new prospective when it comes to local emergencies. He remains at the center of every major response, only nowhere near the actual disaster.

"The whole goal of this room is to provide policy direction and resource access to commanders that may be out in the field,” said Jerry Wiltfang.

Wiltfang designed and now manages Winnebago County's "Emergency Operations Center". It's a new $500,000 control room inside the jail, where multiple agencies will meet during a large scale disaster.

"With the old set up the place was set up in rows and those people worked in a silo now they are working in a group to solve the problem," Wiltfang said.

Three TV’s will show a live feed of the disaster location, computers and hooks ups, along with phones are set at every table, with another communications room next door.

"If we have a real incident we want to pull all of the radio traffic so we put a police and fire dispatcher," said Wiltfang.

Wiltfang says the high tech center allows emergency responders from across the Stateline to work together, not only under pressure but under one roof.

The operations center is expected to be completed this year.


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