Behind the scenes of the Emergency Operations Center in SA amid coronavirus pandemic

A look at how the EOC is operating to try to figure out finance, logistics, planning and more

Behind the scenes of the Emergency Operations Center in SA amid coronavirus pandemic
Behind the scenes of the Emergency Operations Center in SA amid coronavirus pandemic

San Antonio – The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in San Antonio fully activated on Friday for the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, several agencies have come together to figure out things such as finance, logistics and planning for the city.

“Whether I need ambulances, fire trucks; whether I need personnel; whether I need to rent a facility; whether I need to find testing locations, hotels, all of those things have been included in planning,” said San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood.

The last time the EOC was fully activated was during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

“Our main concern is, again, flooding, our hospitals, making sure that our first responders have the equipment that they need and they’re responding appropriately. And so, again, it is the day by day wait and see what’s happening,” Hood said.

Several agencies are in the hub including, the San Antonio Fire Department, San Antonio Fire Department, Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, some outlying fire departments, private ambulance companies, local hospitals, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and federal and state agencies.

Hood said the activation of the EOC this time around differs from previous times.

“I know what a hurricane is going to do. I have someone forecasting the weather. I know the fire is going to do because it's going to burn out all of the fuel. In a situation with this pandemic, we have no idea, but I want the citizens to understand that this department, this city, that we're prepared to continue to protect them,” Hood said.

Inside the EOC, they are taking precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Everyone that enters the building is having their temperature checked.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.

KSAT CORONAVIRUS CONTINUING COVERAGE:


About the Authors:

Tiffany Huertas is known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.