BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A new building will be constructed for East Baton Rouge Parish in hopes of providing quicker and more effective emergency responses.

“This is going to bring us leaps and bounds and put us on the front of everything to be prepared for these events,” stated Baton Rouge Fire Chief Michael Kimble.

Between the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Medical Services, the parish is creating space for a new resource.

“The Safe Room Training Center is another step in our efforts to support our law enforcement and first responders,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

This dual-purpose facility provides a place for first responders to stage during a disaster.

“During times of disaster, we’re able to bring resources in from outside to the city and the state when the needs arise. We have a location to help house our people that we might need in case of a major event,” Kimble explained.

Along with more space, it will also help provide access to life-saving training.

“This building has a capacity of over 700 persons, and it offers opportunity for the city-parish departments to have more room, to hold bigger classes for public safety classes, continuing education and departmental functions,” said EMS Director Michael Denicola.

The safe room is going to be a big, sturdy building that will be able to withstand windspeed up to 250 miles per hour. However, outside of a disaster, it’s going to be used for extensive training throughout the year.

“Anywhere from any type of large medical classes. The technical search, rescue stuff that we do. I’m sure if law enforcement has some type of big event, they want to train their personnel on it,” said Kimble.

“We also have the support spaces required to meet the requirements of a FEMA hurricane shelter that includes a food storage generator, backup power,” added Post Architect Owner Lisa Nice.

Leaders said this will be a major step forward for the parish. Construction is expected to be complete in one year.