May 10, 2013 7:16 PM
Jim E. Winburn, Staff Writer

HESPERIA • San Bernardino County officials helped to dedicate the new High Desert Public Safety Operations Center in Hesperia on Friday, a joint-agency emergency hub to deal with regional and countywide catastrophes.

The 30,000-square-foot center, which includes sheriff and fire emergency dispatch centers, as well as an Emergency Operations Center, will reinforce the county’s capacity to keep all public safety functions running during such threats as a fast-spreading wildfire or a major earthquake.

“This is public safety — this is the most important thing that we do for our citizens,” said Rep. Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, who spoke at the event. “And when you have an organization that is coordinated, instead of working at cross-purposes, you get the mission done, (and) it will save lives.”

A 2007 county review concluded that it’s existing Emergency Operations Center in Rialto had inadequate facilities and is unable to accommodate growth.

The new operations center in Hesperia creates an additional public safety and disaster resource for the county, while allowing law enforcement and fire to work together to coordinate as first responders. Previously, such coordination has been done by phone between dispatch centers.

“With county fire, this is the first step towards a regionalized dispatch approach,” County of San Bernardino Sheriff-Coroner John McMahon said at the ceremony. “It’s a great opportunity to share resources and partner up to save money for the county and provide better service to the citizens that we serve.”

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