FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orleans Parish Communication District
Announces Expansion Plans for the Emergency Communications Center
NEW ORLEANS (November 12, 2019) – The Orleans Parish Communication District (OPCD) has announced plans for expanding the Chief Warren E. McDaniels, Sr. 9-1-1 Center at 118 City Park Avenue in New Orleans.
In an effort to match the increase in OPCD staffing and needs, along with a growing partnership with regional public safety agencies, OPCD is pursuing an expansion of the Chief Warren E. McDaniels, Sr. 9-1-1 Center.
In March 2019, the board authorized a concept and feasibility study to be completed by New Orleans based architecture firm, VergesRome. To review the report, click here.
Tuesday morning, the OPCD Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution allowing OPCD Executive Director, Tyrell Morris, to enter into contract negotiations with VergesRome for schematic designs of the facility.
The planned expansion will include the following:
- Additional space and positions on the OPCD operations floor to manage increased 9-1-1 and 3-1-1 call volumes, and to provide services for all emergency response agencies operating in Orleans Parish
- Bunking space will be available for OPCD and partner agency personnel during extended emergency operations
- Emergency Operations Center
- Training and simulation space
- Emergency vehicle storage for public safety agencies to stage for easy deployment
- Increased technology infrastructure space to accommodate Next Generation 9-1-1 technology (soon to be required by federal legislation)
- An onsite childcare facility specifically designed for the families of first responders
“This expansion will be a big step forward for our agency and for the parish, itself,” stated OPCD Executive Director, Tyrell Morris. “Since the consolidation of 9-1-1 operations in 2016, OPCD has continued to grow in our services and function, growing from 16 to 180 full time employees. As the entity responsible for emergency and non-emergency services for the City of New Orleans, it is imperative that we have the resources necessary to execute our mission for the ever-evolving public safety environment of the 21st century. Emergency communications centers no longer function simply as call centers; they now operate as intelligence organizations on the front line, and need to be resourced as such.”
“I am especially proud of the possibility to create a much-needed childcare center for first responders in New Orleans,” continued Morris. “This is something that has never been done before. These services will be a point of great relief for all of the city’s heroes who work long, irregular hours and are seeking ways to care for their families while they are out helping the people who need them most.”
VergesRome Architects, headquartered in Mid City, New Orleans, provides more than 50 years’ worth of architectural and engineering expertise, and will be providing OPCD with the schematic design for the expansion project in the coming months.
The total cost for expansion ranges between $15-25 million is planned to be funded through a combination of bonds, grants and 9-1-1 fee revenue. Once the schematic design phase of the project is completed, the final cost of the expansion project will be more thoroughly refined.
About VergesRome Architects, APAC and Page Southerland Page, Inc.
VergesRome Architects, headquartered in Mid-City for over 50 years, has delivered successful projects in nearly every project type and magnitude for private and public clients. Page, founded in 1898, is one of the nation’s most prolific architectural and engineering practices with extensive expertise in Public Safety Answering Point, control building and data center projects similar to the Orleans Parish Communications District’s Public Safety Centralized Communications Center. Together, VergesRome Architects and Page are primed to deliver creative, feasible solutions where design reinforces the specialized and sophisticated OPCD operations.
About the Orleans Parish Communication District
Formed in 1982, the Orleans Parish Communication District is the PSAP for all emergency communications via 9-1-1 within Orleans Parish. The agency employs over 150 individuals and provides emergency medical dispatch, emergency fire dispatch, and emergency police dispatch for the millions of annual visitors and residents of the City of New Orleans. OPCD is a member of the Association of Public Safety Communication Officials (APCO) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).
Marcus W. Creel, MS
OPCD Public Engagement Manager