Cap Haitian, Haiti – A celebration was held August 9 for the newly-constructed emergency operations center (EOC), disaster relief warehouse (DRW) and fire station in Cap Haitian, Haiti.
The new facilities, located within the Nord Department of Haiti, were built as part of U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP) in Haiti.
“The 4,000 square-foot EOC will provide a central hub for the local government to coordinate response following catastrophic events and report vital information to the Haitian government for rapid decision making,” said Lt. j.g. Blaine Henning, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast (NAVFAC Southeast) Resident Officer in Charge of Construction (ROICC), Haiti.
The ceremony was held in the outdoor vehicle bay of the fire station and was well attended by community members, local fire fighters, Directorate of Civil Protection volunteers, Haitian National Police, and local officials. The local fire department displayed hundreds of pieces of life saving equipment donated to the department by the United States since the 2010 earthquake.
“The 4,800 square-foot DRW should provide ample storage for items needed to respond immediately following a major disaster. The warehouse also creates a place for supplies to be redistributed from a central area outside of the Haitian capital to help alleviate major supply chain issues discovered following the 2010 earthquake,” explained Henning.
The EOC, DRW, and fire station are part of 12 similar projects in Haiti that were awarded by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) in Jacksonville, Fla. The lead contractor on the EOC and DRW was GDG Beton of Port Au Prince, Haiti. The lead contractor on the fire station was CSS International Holdings, Ada, Michigan.
“The EOC and DRW will be managed and staffed by members of the local Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC). That is the equivalent of FEMA in the United States,” said Henning. “The 3,400 square foot fire station will provide first responder capabilities to the Cap Haitian area and life saving equipment to the local fire fighters.”
Participants in the inauguration ceremony included U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, The Honorable Pamela White; Daniel Basile, the Minister of the Interior; and Madame Jean Baptiste the Director of DPC.
Both the U.S. Ambassador and Minister of Interior remarked in their speeches that the success of these projects could only conclude with the continued cooperation between the United States of America and the Government of Haiti.
Lt. j.g. Blaine Henning, the Resident Officer in Charge of Construction Haiti with NAVFAC Southeast; Greg Marcellus, NAVFAC Southeast construction manager for the project, and Sgt. 1st Class Roland Laforest, the U.S. Southern Command HAP Program Manager also attended.
The project is part of 62 Humanitaran Assistance projects NAVFAC Southeast is administering the design and construction of for U.S. Southern Command on behalf of the Government of Haiti and the Haitian people.
The $33 million program is being executed, with ROICC Haiti oversight, through 20 contracts at 22 sites and will provide EOCs, DRWs, fire stations, medical clinics, community centers, and schools for the Haitian people.