Plans are in place for a new emergency medical services administration and training/certification complex that will be connected to the existing Sussex County Emergency Operations Center at the Delaware Coastal Airport near Georgetown.
Construction of the estimated $12 million, 20,000-square-foot building is expected to begin early next fiscal year, which starts July 1, according to Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson.
Sussex County Emergency Medical Services Director Robbie Murray presented finals plans for the facility during Sussex County Council's March 23 meeting. The new facility will consolidate all EMS training, administration and logistics in one location.
The project includes a 4,284-square-foot training area, a 1,544-square-foot training classroom, administration offices, logistics warehouse, new entrance lobby, and bathroom and locker room. The existing EOC kitchen will be renovated and upgraded to serve the entire facility for use by all personnel in the building. The project also includes a new cooling tower.
Murray said one-quarter of the building is devoted to training and certification, with simulation rooms, classrooms and a large training room. He said the county's simulation ambulance will be moved from the west complex to the new building.
The new EMS building will be constructed in the parking lot of the existing emergency operations center. Additional parking around the building is included in the plan.
The project is part of an ongoing effort to get all employees out of the county's west complex facility near Route 113 where several county departments are currently housed. Located just off Route 113 behind M&T Bank in Georgetown, the complex includes the Sheriff's Office, and offices for the county’s libraries, housing and community development, public works, information technology, and mapping and addressing departments as well as emergency medical services administration. The second floor was converted to a training center in 2013.
Even so, the building has significant infrastructure issues, said county engineer Hans Medlarz. Dating back to the 1970s, the complex has had problems with its HVAC system, insulation and meeting energy standards.
The existing emergency operations center houses the county's emergency response services – the county 911 center with dispatch services for fire and ambulance, paramedics, Delaware State Police helicopter and other resource equipment to support county fire service. It also houses the DSP SUSCOM unit.