Staff Formally Begins Working Out of Building Today
HOLBROOK — Director Steve Hooke is pleased to announce that staff at the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center (HRECC) has formally moved into the new facility as of today.
Construction of the new 5,967 square-foot building began in September 2019 and was officially completed late last year. Since then staff have been slowly transitioning equipment to the new facility.
The facility, located at 300 South Franklin St. behind the Holbrook Public Safety complex,replaces the HRECC’s previous headquarters.The approximately $8 million cost to complete the new building was funded through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the State 911 Department.
While all “critical infrastructure” for the building has been installed, there is also space for future expansion as the HRECC adds additional staff positions.
“With the completion of this facility, we will be operating out of the largest regional emergency communications center in the entire state, and have access to state-of-the-art technology and resources,” Director Hooke said. “Our telecommunicators and supervisors work closely with fellow first responders every day, and in this line of work seconds matter and there is no room for error, so to be able to provide such a high level of support to our staff by way of this new facility is critical.”
The facility features the latest technology used in emergency communications and consists of room space available for future equipment upgrades. Some of the technological components available at the facility include radio console positions, fire alarm receiving equipment, advanced telephone systems, a video monitor wall and more.
The new space, which meets Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, accommodates HRECC’s existing 32 employees. It also allows for the opportunity to add more 911 answering positions, as well as the ability to increase staffing during storms and other large scale emergencies.
Additionally, new features designed to ease the stress of dispatchers include a full kitchen, ergonomically correct and temperature-controlled consoles and a quiet room where staff can go to clear their heads after particularly difficult calls. There is also an administrative area that houses offices for the Director, Deputy Director, supervisors, administrative assistants and an IT network coordinator.
“We designed and constructed this facility with the telecommunicators in mind and tried to take into account their needs and wants,” Deputy Director of Communications Lauren Mielke said. “We want to thank our staff for their patience as we’ve transitioned into this new facility. The quality of service they provide every day has not diminished during the entire process, even despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we look forward to seeing them have the advantages that a state-of-the-art facility like this offers.”
A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building that had been scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 5 was cancelled due to gathering restrictions in place during the pandemic. Director Hooke and Deputy Director Mielke have been providing small, socially-distanced tours of the facility this week in lieu of the ceremony.
One of the guests who took a tour of the facility this week was new Norfolk County Commissioner Richard Staiti, who is a supporter of the regional emergency communications model.
“I want to congratulate Director Hooke, Deputy Director Mielke and all those involved in the development of this new facility. This center will assist in providing better and more efficient response for emergency situations with the latest state-of-the-art equipment,” Commissioner Staiti said. “As local budgets begin to feel the strain caused by the pandemic we need to explore and expand more regional services such as the HRECC. As a newly elected County Commissioner for Norfolk County, I hope to collaborate with others and pursue ways we can achieve more regional services in the area as well as expand the member towns currently served by this dispatch center.”
Director Hooke and Deputy Director Mielke would like to thank the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the State 911 Department for their support and assistance in funding the construction of the facility.
They would also like to acknowledge the following vendors who helped make the new facility possible:
- All Comm Technologies (radio vendor)
- CC-Teknologies (IT, video wall, phones)
- LW Bills (fire alarm monitoring)
- Evans Consoles (console furniture)
- Concept Seating (dispatch chairs)
Many elected officials in the region have congratulated and commended the HRECC for their continued work and the completion of their new facility.
“I first learned about the important work of the Regional Emergency Communications Center from Canton Fire Chief (Thomas) Ronayne over a decade ago, and I continue to work with Canton Fire Chief (Charles) Doody and the Legislature to do what I can to support the Communications Center,” Rep. William Galvin said. “The Regional Emergency Communications Center makes our region safer and is an asset to our first responders. The Communications Center has expanded over the years, to this monumental moment where the center has its own building. This is a wonderful achievement for the Communications Center, that benefits all of the communities in our region. I am sorry that we cannot celebrate this event in person, but I look forward to touring the facility in the future.”