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Metro Newsroom

MetroSafe Building Complete

Friday September 11, 2009

All MetroSafe employees now working at 5th and Liberty

For the first time since merger, all of Louisville’s 911 call takers, dispatchers, and emergency management staff are operating out of one location – the newly completed MetroSafe building at 5th and Liberty streets downtown. Mayor Jerry Abramson marked the completion of the building with a tour of the new dispatch center, emergency operations center and training rooms.

“Completing the renovation of this building from the old Federal Reserve into a state-of-the-art communications center has been a tremendous challenge,” Abramson said. “The results are incredible – the best technology merging with a well-trained staff in a new facility that will serve our community well for years to come.”

The MetroSafe building boasts a state-of-the-art 911 dispatch center, equipped to process more than 1.3 million emergency calls each year. Dispatchers use real-time mapping technology to assign the closest emergency units. The Emergency Operations Center provides a unified space for multiple agencies to plan responses to large-scale disasters. If downtown buildings lose power, MetroSafe can continue normal operations for several days through backup power sources. The system is interoperable with surrounding counties and even other large cities.

“We have made a huge investment in MetroSafe, and it has catapulted our emergency response system into the national spotlight,” said Doug Hamilton, Emergency Management Agency and MetroSafe director. “MetroSafe is among the elite emergency communications systems in the U.S. Other cities are taking cues from us to build similar systems.”

The city purchased the Federal Reserve in 2004 for $4 million, and spent an additional $14.6 million in renovations.

The renovation of the old Federal Reserve Bank completes Phase 3 of the MetroSafe project.

The first two phases involved combining the city’s nine pre-merger dispatch centers into one location, and purchasing powerful new software that vastly improves inter-agency communication and improves dispatch efficiency.

The final phase includes distribution of more than 3,700 handheld radio units to the city’s emergency responders – police, fire, EMS, suburban fire and others. The entire MetroSafe project will cost approximately $74 million. Nearly half of the project’s funding has come from federal and state money.

By the end of the year, Metro Technology will relocate to the MetroSafe building – so all the city’s technology infrastructure will be housed there. The site will also host all video surveillance monitoring of Metro government buildings

Eventually, approximately 300 Metro employees will work in the MetroSafe building.