NPS photo NOCA Current SAR Cache 2
NPS photo

funded 012016 Funding Priority | Amount needed $20,000 | PARTIALLY FUNDED

North Cascades National Park is seeking funding to convert existing office facilities into a park Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and a comfortable waiting space for family and friends of subjects involved in emergency incidents within the park. NOCA has no designated operations space for incidents including searches, rescues, flood events, evacuations, etc.

Two potential locations have been identified that, with reasonable modifications, could serve the park’s needs for an EOC and potentially a family space as well. This project would fund an office retrofit, including supplies and equipment, to create an EOC. This would include the purchase of desks, computers, phones, radio, color printer, a conference table, wall maps, etc. It would also help fund supplies and equipment for a family liaison space, including external communications systems (Wi-Fi, phone), comfortable furniture, and basic family supplies.

Park staff now use existing office space connected to the public Wilderness Information Center, but it does not provide sufficient separation from normal office operations, including public information and related functions. As incidents expand beyond anything other than the smallest situation, the space is quickly overwhelmed and becomes chaotic.

No private space exists for families affected by an incident (friends, family awaiting news of their loved ones, or needing to make private and often painful or emotional phone calls). No waiting area or private secure location is available where a family can meet with a liaison officer, make phone calls, or simply wait for updates from the command post.

Most visitors pass through the park without incident, but for those few visitors for whom things go wrong, sometimes horribly so, the efficiency, efficacy, and compassion of the park’s response is paramount to their experience at that moment. These few visitors will never forget the experience that they have at North Cascades National Park, and thus the ability of park staff to provide a professional response during emergency situations matters greatly.