The Greater Lafourche Port Commission dedicated a new, state of the art Emergency Operations Center at Port Fourchon Thursday, naming the facility after former Commission member Johnny, Melancon, Sr.
The facility, which sits next door to the Commission’s operations center off Louisiana Hwy. 3090, is designed to accommodate multiple agencies and serve as a central incident command center when emergencies arise.
The central feature of the facility is a large video wall with state of the art technology that allows the port and other agencies to view ongoing activities at the port in real time by accessing a recently installed camera system.
Technology also allows the monitoring of vessels in the port, both moving and stationary ones as well as the monitoring of docks and all public spaces at Port Fourchon. Commission Executive Director Chett Chiasson called the facility “technology driven and a big step forward for Port Fourchon.”
Chiasson also noted that the facility will serve as the Fourchon station hub of the South Lafourche Ambulance District, providing 24/7 ambulance service to port tenants. The facility will also serve as a location for port tenants and other stakeholder agencies to conduct safety, incident management and training classes.
Should an emergency such as a major weather threat or terrorism type incident arise, the center can accommodate up to 17 incident response managers from a wide variety of agencies to coordinate activities from a centralized location. Advanced technology in the building will allow each agency to focus on their area of necessity while remaining in close contact with other agencies that may have overlapping duties.
The $3.4 million facility was funded with a $1.4 million federal port security grant while the Greater Lafourche Port Commission put up the funding for the remaining amount.
In dedicating the facility to Johnny Melancon, Sr., who passed away a few years ago, Commission President Perry Gisclair praised Melancon as a man of integrity and a close friend.
“Mr. Johnny worked hard on behalf of this port and he is very deserving of having his name on this important building. I am glad to have counted him as a friend,” stated Gisclair.
In acknowledging the naming of the building on behalf of his late father, current Commission member John Melancon, Jr. thanked the crowd for their support of Port Fourchon and offered that “my father always strived to help this port grow because he knew what a great asset it is to not only our local area, but also its importance to the region and indeed the entire nation.”
Melancon Sr. served on the Commission from 1995 until his death in 2010. He served as president from 2001 to 2004.
Other elected officials at the dedication included Port Commission members, Larry Griffin, Jimmy Guidry, Wilbert Collins, Harris “Chuckie” Cheramie, Jr. and Kris Gaudet. Also in attendance were Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph, Interim Lafourche Parish Assessor Wendy Thibodeaux, State Representative Jerome “Dee” Richard and Golden Meadow Mayor Joey Bouziga.
Family members of Johnny Melancon, Sr. at the dedication of the new Emergency Operations Center at Port Fourchon.
Posted on Fri, August 1, 2014
by Doug Cheramie, II, Contributing Writer