The Gush Etzion Regional Council comprises 22 diverse communities – Orthodox, secular, mixed, ultra-Orthodox, and kibbutzim. The population has doubled over the past decade, currently numbering over 20,000 with an annual growth rate of 5.4%.
All departments of the Gush Etzion Regional Council aspire to upgrade awareness and services offered to residents in security-related emergencies and other crises.
Immediate intervention is required in the event of terror attacks, security-related incidents and personal emergencies. The location of the 22 communities, dispersed over 19,000 acres, creates difficulties in offering critical services which can make the difference between life and death.
Operation Pillar of Defense, Operation Protective Edge, terror attacks, security incidents and other conditions such as severe winters with road access cut off and electricity blackouts, have created a reality requiring logistic upgrades for emergency intervention on both the technical and the human, emotional level.
In light of this reality, and especially in view of the population increase, a facility housing an emergency center with related social services, as well as a secure area for refuge in the event of rocket or mortar attacks, has become a necessity.
The Gush Etzion Emergency Center is currently located on the lower floor of the Regional Council building. There is no adjacent secure area, and the available space is too small for the staff and essential communications equipment.
The Social Services department presently occupies 6 rooms on three different floors of the building. This creates a confusing and cumbersome experience for individuals and families requiring assistance, and compromises their privacy and the appropriate standards of discretion.
With a view to solving these problems, a new Emergency Center was approved within the framework of the Regional Council’s 2013-2014 budget. The plan envisions a 220 sq.m. addition to the Regional Council building, located on the ground floor with wheelchair access, and at the back of the main building, to maintain discretion.
The building will house both emergency services and social welfare services, and will also include a secure area serving the staff and visitors at the Regional Council.
The Emergency Center will include a command center equipped to oversee all emergency operations, using computers, cameras, telephones etc., all integrated within regional and IDF communications networks. The center will also offer a conference room and working areas for the various staff and outside personnel (police, IDF, Internal Affairs, medical staff, rapid response and rescue teams). The area will include rest room, a kitchen, an emergency exit, and access to the adjacent Regional Council building.
Stage 1 – issue of building permits – completed
Stage 2 – final stage of architectural plans – January 2015
Stage 3 – tenders – February 2015
Stage 4 – commence building – March 2015
Completion of building, including equipment and furnishings – December 2016
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