Home Local News Richmond County Emergency Management Holds “Topping Off” Ceremony

Richmond County Emergency Management Holds “Topping Off” Ceremony

Members of Richmond County, including Rockigham Mayor Steven Morris, attended the "topping off" ceremony.

ROCKINGHAM – On Tuesday, Richmond County Emergency Management held a “topping off” ceremony at the construction site of the new Emergency Services Complex.

Local leaders from Richmond County, City of Rockingham and the City of Hamlet joined to sign a rafter to commemorate the project, as the highest point of the building was set in place Tuesday morning. This type of ceremony is often done to celebrate when the tallest point of a new structure is assembled.

“This project is the vision of the Richmond County Board of Commissioners. And without their support, and the support of the Rockingham and Hamlet City Councils and their mayors, along with support from the Richmond County Sheriff, James Clemmons, we would not be where we are today,” said Donna Wright, Director of Emergency Services.

The new Emergency Services Complex will be a single-story 9,000 square-foot facility on a 10-acres site. The estimated value of the project is $3.25 million, and will give RCEM a more up-to-date dispatching service.

“With the help of Mission Critical Partners, Richmond County has assembled a great team, including ADW Architects to help design our community’s Emergency Services building and Godfrey Construction, which is helping bring our ideas to reality,” Wright continued.

As of Tuesday, the new building is 38% complete, as the highest point was added via a crane. The facility is expected to be completed in late February, 2018, with the anticipation that emergency services will be consolidated by Jan. 1, 2019.

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“Today, each of you played a part of the success of this project,” Wright told guests in attendance. “I invite each of you to sign the rafter that will be lifted to the highest point of the building. Your signature will be part of our new history together. Congratulations to each of you, and thank you for the role you played to serve all citizens of Richmond County.”

Among those who signed their names on the rafter were Planning Director John Massey, Rockingham Mayor Steven Morris, Hamlet Police Chief Scott Waters, and several representatives from the organizations that have aided in this project.

Richmond County Emergency Services was awarded a $6,357,539 grant from the North Carolina 9-1-1 Board to help with costs of consolidating dispatch services.  Richmond County’s Sheriff’s dispatch, along with Rockingham Police’s and Hamlet Police’s dispatch, will be consolidated into the Richmond County 9-1-1 Center, in conjunction with the fire, rescue and EMT services already in place.

Currently, any emergency dispatch within the county may have to be sent to a second dispatcher before units can be sent to a scene. By consolidating dispatch services, a more effective and efficient service will be created to serve all of the citizens of Richmond County.

For more information about this project, please contact Donna Wright at (910) 997-8238.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.