Sussex Emergency Operations Complex opens

by Danica Brendon

Officials celebrated the opening of the new expanded Sussex County Emergency Operations Complex on October 10th. The $12 million, 20,000-square-foot facility, located at the Delaware Coastal Airport complex near Georgetown, brings together all of the county’s public safety departments for the first time.

The complex now houses Sussex County Emergency Medical Services, emergency operations, the county 911 center, and the Delaware State Police dispatch center, providing a centralized location for efficient collaboration and communication. Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson expressed the significance of this consolidation, stating, “Bringing the administration of our public safety resources together under one roof has been a top priority for the county for years. This will give our staff the modern technology, training space, and other amenities they need, working together, that will make for a stronger, more collaborative system to best serve our constituents.”

The expansion nearly doubled the size of the operations complex, serving as the headquarters and training facility for the county’s 125-member paramedic department. With a dozen stations spread across the county, the new complex provides improved office space for administrative staff members, a logistics warehouse, and advanced facilities for paramedic education and training. The state-of-the-art 50-person classroom and five medical simulation rooms, including a mock ambulance laboratory, ensure that the paramedics have the resources they need to provide high-quality emergency medical services.

The new wing replaces outdated space in the county’s administrative offices west complex in Georgetown. Staff members relocated to their new quarters in late August and have since settled into the modern and spacious facilities.

Funding for the project came from the county’s portion of realty transfer tax revenue, demonstrating the county’s commitment to investing in public safety. Sussex County’s engineering department managed the project, while design and engineering services were provided by George, Miles, & Buhr and RMF Engineering. Bancroft Construction served as the general contractor.

Sussex County EMS Director Robert Murray highlighted the importance of the new facility’s focus on training and education, stating, “It was our desire to ensure that we had a state-of-the-art training facility that would accommodate the county paramedics and our public safety partners for decades to come.” This dedication to ongoing education and skill development will further enhance the abilities and expertise of the county’s paramedic department.

Speaking on behalf of the county council, President Mike Vincent emphasized the expansion’s significance in keeping pace with the community’s growth and increasing demand for fire protection, law enforcement, and emergency medical services. Vincent stated, “Public safety is without question the county’s most important job. We’re talking about saving lives, and you can’t really put a price on that. The training, the tools, and, most importantly, the talent that Sussex County employs to ensure the best public safety system you’ll find anywhere is reflected in a project like this. The county council is proud of all our first-responder heroes and we are proud to be able to deliver on that promise to serve the people of this great community.”

The new expanded Sussex County Emergency Operations Complex represents a significant investment in the county’s public safety infrastructure. By consolidating all departments under one roof and providing state-of-the-art facilities, Sussex County is better equipped to respond effectively to emergencies and protect the well-being of its constituents.

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