Area Office of Emergency Services/Homeland Security

The Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services [OES] is funded through a Joint Powers Agreement between the 20 incorporated cities and the County of San Mateo. The Cities contribute money to fund the JPA based upon a formula that takes into account the population and average assessed property value of each city. The County then matches the funds contributed by the cities. The remainder of the OES budget comes from state and federal Emergency Management Assistance program funds. Refer to the OES Organization Chart.

The Joint Powers Agreement is governed by an Emergency Services Council. This council is comprised of one [1] representative from each city, and a member of the County Board of Supervisors. The Council approves budgets and provides strategic direction for the Joint Powers Agreement.

The OES staff provides planning and training services to the 20 cities in the County. Currently, all 20 cities in San Mateo County have emergency plans that are compliant with the new *Standardized Emergency Management System [SEMS]. OES provides an ongoing training program for city and County employees on SEMS.

The Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services also maintains an Amateur Radio repeater for use by the amateur radio community. This repeater will serve as a vital link to the outside world during disasters.

The Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services provides a fleet of support vehicles to respond to emergencies. OES Support One is a forty foot long bus that has been decked out with office space and communications capability. OES Support Two is a one-ton truck chassis with an enclosed office in back. These vehicles are available on a moment's notice to respond to any emergency in San Mateo County.

OES responders are part of the Hazardous Materials Response Team. This team consists of the South County Fire HAZMAT Team, the Environmental Health Division of the County Health Services Agency, and Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services. Together, these three agencies respond to hazardous materials emergencies anywhere in San Mateo County. In addition to HAZMAT incidents, OES responds to greater alarm fires and other extraordinary incidents within the county.

In order to communicate with the State of California during disasters, San Mateo County has a ground station for the Operational Area Satellite Information System or OASIS. This system provides telephone and data communications even when the telephones are not working.

The Standardized Emergency Management System or SEMS is an outgrowth of the coordination problems encountered during the Oakland Fire in 1991. San Mateo County, and the 20 cities within the county have adopted the Standardized Emergency Management System as a method of response to critical incidents and disasters.


The EOP describes what the County's actions will be during a response to an emergency.

Business Preparedness Links:

Flood Safety:

Earthquakes / Emergencies:

Information for Older Americans / People with Disabilities:



Important Links:

Other San Mateo County Emergency Organizations:

Emergency Services Detail (Sheriff's Office)
San Mateo County Fire Safe