Bay Co. Emergency Services, BCSO to purchase $600,000 mobile command post

BAY COUNTY, Fla. - The partnership between Bay County Emergency Services and the Sheriff's Office is continuing to strengthen.

The Bay County Commission approved a new mobile command post that will help the agencies work together in emergency situations.
Chief of Emergency Services, Mark Bowen, and Sheriff Ford are also working together to establish an Incident Management Team specifically for situations like an active shooter.

"Whether it's a fire incident like a woods fire, a structure fire, a hazmat incident or a law enforcement incident," Sheriff Ford said.

Sheriff Ford compared the mobile command post to a mobile emergency operations center, that will help the agencies manage incidents on scene.

During the Briarwood Apartments active shooter, the Bay County Sheriff's Office had to use Walton County's mobile command post.

Commissioner Guy Tunnell said this made it clear that Bay County needed their own.

"You don't have time to say 'ok who's over here, who's over there and what do we got available?,' I mean you need to have that equipment and have it available right away," he said.

Sheriff Ford said the mobile post will be comparable to a fire truck, and will have extensive features including a place for dispatch and a conference room.

"It's got an extendable light pole to light up the scene, as well as a camera that will go up on a post to give us kind of an overview of the scene," he said.

The cost of the truck will not exceed more than $625,000.

Emergency Services will pay for half using fire impact fees, while the Sheriff's Office will use available funds in their budget for the other half.

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