Tuesday, April 24, 2012
(San Mateo County) Grand jury report criticizes San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services
By Aaron Kinney - San Mateo County Times - A new report by the San Mateo County Grand Jury has found that the county Office of Emergency Services has yet to follow through on improvements recommended after the September 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno, and urged the county to upgrade its Emergency Operation Center. The report shows the office has not completed seven improvements it identified in a self-evaluation conducted weeks after a PG&E natural gas pipeline ruptured, killing eight people and destroying 38 homes. Among the improvements is researching an alternative location for the operation center. The center, with its makeshift home in the Jury Assembly Room of the Hall of Justice in Redwood City, is "suboptimal," the grand jury noted, chiefly because of its poor cellphone reception. The grand jury recommended taking steps to establish a new facility within 180 days. Sheriff Greg Munks, whose office oversees the Office of Emergency Services, said in a statement Monday that his department is working to address the grand jury's recommendations, and he agrees that the Emergency Operation Center is in need of a new home. "The EOC's current location ... is functionally limited and not acceptable for serious and prolonged emergencies," Munks said. "Despite the current budgetary constraints, the sheriff is committed to finding a permanent solution to this issue." To read the full report, go to www.sanmateocourt.org and follow the link to "Grand Jury."