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COIC gave an update on a proposed regional training and emergency coordination center to the Redmond City Council Tuesday night and received support from several councilors for the ambitious project.

Looming threats and a rapidly growing region are some of the reasons that Shelby Knight, resilience planner with the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, said the regional training and emergency coordination center is needed in Central Oregon.

The idea of a centralized hub in Central Oregon that would collaborate and coordinate agencies during a disaster was envisioned back more than a decade ago but began gaining speed in 2018. It’s proposed for the Deschutes County-owned former Redmond Rod & Gun Club shooting range property near Redmond Airport.

“This is really envisioned as that emergency coordination center, which is in a centralized location for emergency response and recovery operations in an incident,” Knight said Tuesday.

COIC Community and Economic Development Manager Scott Aycock told News Channel 21 previously that Central Oregon currently has inadequate facilities to meet training needs and requirements Central Oregon Regional Emergency Services Training and Coordination Center, from wildfires to earthquakes.

It’s the first part of many phases that aim to have the site serve as the primary incident support base for statewide rescue and recovery operations when disaster happens, such as a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake off the Oregon coast.

“Central Oregon has insufficient facilities to meet existing, mandatory training needs of local, state, and federal public safety personnel,” a 150-page “strategic business plan” being presented to the council states. “In a rapidly growing region, the need for trained public safety and emergency services professionals is increasing.”

“Furthermore, the region lacks a dedicated, multi-agency coordination center for emergency operations, nor does it have an adequate backup 911-center with redundant emergency dispatch capabilities,” states the report, which lays out six potential phases and a total cost that could approach $100 million, if it comes to full fruition.

The RESTCC-CORE 3 hub is envisioned as a multi-use space to house a dedicated, multi-agency coordination center for emergency operations and a backup 911-center with emergency dispatch capabilities, a training facility to meet the existing and mandatory training needs of local, state, and federal public safety personnel, and to house Central Oregon Community College’s wildland and structural fire and other related programs.

Knight says the center has support from several agencies.

The Bend Fire Department, Central Oregon Fire Management Service, the cities of Madras and Redmond, the Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Deschutes County commissioners and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are among those who have endorsed the regional facility.

“No one owns this project — it’s just a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional process, and so that’s going to outline how we are going to work together,” Knight said