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From the Archives: Mobile Command Posts - Acquisition - Configuration - Options

Author: Randall D. Larson

Copyright: 9-1-1 Magazine, Feature Content,

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Article & photos originally published in shorter form in our Sept/Oct 1995 issue

Major public safety emergencies depend on effective management and communications.  Mobile command posts provide a base of operations and an enclosed area free of distractions for incident management decisions.  When combined with a communications module or separate communications van, an incident is able to maintain its own field communications, freeing the Comm Center to handle day-to-day activities while on-scene personnel manage incident-generated communications.

They come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, configurations and styles,  from 4x4’s to 65-foot semi’s.  Most command vehicles nowadays include cellular phones and faxes, some include landline connections, copiers, video and audio recorders, kitchen and restroom facilities.  Most are air conditioned and are powered by batteries and/or a generator, with inverters for shore power (AC) connections.  Larger units may have protective awnings and antenna masts to assist in radio reception and transmission.  They are built by specialized apparatus companies or by a motorhome or bus manufacturer.  Some are custom-built on spec while other agencies obtain a donated or surplus government vehicle and outfit it in-house.

     

Vans and Suburbans

A number of fire departments are trading in their battalion chief sedans for full-size vans or sport-utility vehicles in order to have a small-scale command post on scene at an incident’s early stages.  Cabinetry built into the side or rear of the vehicle holds exterior radio positions, cellular phones and fax machines.  Odyssey Specialty Vehicles of Wharton, NJ, custom-designs and outfits Suburbans, Explorers, Blazers and other sport/utility vehicles as command and chief’s cars with electrical system upgrades, cabinetry, graphics and emergency systems starting at around $10,000 and up, depending on the amount of work done on the vehicle.  Among the fire departments using a custom-designed Odyssey chief car is the Roseville (CA) Fire Dept.  “As a first-due Battalion Chief’s car, the Suburban provides a well-equipped command vehicle able to respond during the first alarm stage of an incident,” said Roseville Battalion Chief Jeff Carman.

Purchased at a cost of $65,000, the primary use of Roseville's vehicle is is to serve as a command post on incidents where a Battalion Chief is required.  Equipped with a 3,000 watt inverter which converts DC power to AC power, the vehicle contains a mix of DC and AC powered equipment.  The cab has a VHF high band radio which is routinely used for all emergency traffic.  It also features a 100 channel mkti-band programmable scanner, a portable cellular phone, an on-board computer which is linked to dispatch through an 800 Mhz radio patch; the computer also contains report-writing programs, mapping programs, and hazmat data bases, and is linked to a Canon printer in the command area of the vehicle.  This printer is also linked to a cell phone dedicated to transmitting and receiving faxes.  Other equipment in the command area include a UHF radio used for major operations with other city departments as well as a communications link with area hospitals. There is a large map board, file drawer, a 300-pound capacity tool drawer, map compartment and various other storage areas.  

Beginning in 1994, the San Jose (CA) Fire Department replaced its fleet of sedans with Suburbans at a cost of $42,000 each.  Radio installation was performed by city technicians, with cabinetry done by a local contractor [left].  Incident Dispatchers called out on a 3rd-alarm provide communications and documentation support while operating the radios and MDT for the Incident Commander.

Reconfigured passenger vans also make effective command centers for first-due companies.  The Atlanta (GA) Fire Department recently replaced their fleet of Chief vehicles with vans [right].   Battalion 1 is a 1993 Ford/Southern Ambulance Co. Econoline extended-body van.  With the extra height and length, it avoids the low headroom of the smaller vans while providing more room for interior work space.  Odyssey configured a 1992 Ford Econoline van for the Dover Township (PA) Fire Department, providing custom cabinetry, interior command area and a roll-out awning.

The City of Avalon, located on Santa Catalina Island off the Southern California coast, operates a 1990 Ford Econoline van as its Fire Department Battalion car [left].  Purchased and outfitted for $24,000, the initial vehicle purchase was funded as part of a development agreement between the City and the builders of a seaside hotel and shopping complex.  The vehicle was obtained as a fire protection mitigation called out in the environmental impact analysis of the project.  Side doors open to reveal a compact and very useful command center, featuring a pull-down work table, radio, scanner and cellular phone, as well as numerous local reference materials.  “The City of Avalon believes that the vehicle is a logical use of ever decreasing fire department budgets and is an example of how departments of our size must be creative in designing multi-purpose equipment,” said Richard L. Callen, Planning & Public Safety Captain for Avalon Fire.

The Milpitas (CA) Fire Department uses a Ford E350 van as its Battalion’s vehicle [right].  Constructed by Braun Northwest of Chehalis, Washington  (makers of North Star Ambulances), the vehicle outfitted an ambulance body with three workstations, featuring 12 GE radios, a coastal navigation weather station, computer, fax, copier and cellular phone.  The Boston (MA) Fire Department also uses an ambulance van as a mobile communications unit, made by fire truck builder Emergency One [image, top of page].  The Saint Paul (MN) Police Department employs an unmarked 1976 Dodge box-type van, modified with communications equipment and external power and generators, for their Critical Incident Response Team.   Luzerne County (PA) Emergency Management Agency bought an high-cube van from Odyssey, equipped with a mobile communications center with weather station, fax, PC, modem, four radios and cellular phones.  The Jackson (MS) Fire Department operates a mobile command post built into the box of a Ford-XLT chassis, featuring four multi-channel radios covering all public safety bands, on-board computer and fax.  On board telecommunications equipment includes multi-channel UHF and VHF radios and computer capability.

    

Motorhomes and Stepvans

More common for mobile command posts are reconfigured commercial stepvans and motorhomes. The Mountain View (CA) Police Department refurbished a 1974 GMC motorhome with radios, video, phone and CAD connections.  Purchased as part of a community relations package acquired through federal grant, the department uses the van for neighborhood crime prevention meetings, local PSAP back-up, and as a tactical SWAT command post.

The Toronto, Ontario, International Airport uses a 36-foot 1988 Winnebago as its command vehicle, operated by RCMP Airport Policing.  The Los Angeles International Airport Police acquired a 34-foot, 1990 Wolverine motorhome for $150,000.  The vehicle features a large conference area with CCTV and printable dry-erase board, and two radio workstations.  Nashville (TN) Police operates a 36-foot 1979 Avco motorhome for mobile emergency communications, with seven radios, landline telephone connections and PC.   The Massachusetts State 9-1-1 agency owns a 38-foot International Navistar motorhome outfitted by Lynch Diversified Vehicles (LDV) as a mobile 9-1-1 communications center.  The coach features a 16-line phone system, 1A2 phones, Dictaphone recorder, as well as kitchen and restroom facilities. The California Office of Emergency Services, Fire and Rescue division, purchased two 26-foot Revcon motorhomes for $60,000 each and outfitted them as ComStat vans, each featuring 6 radio/phone positions with statewide frequency coverage [above left]. 

Phoenix (AZ) Police operate a 36-foot, 1992 Elite motorcoach.  The $450,000 Mobile Activity Command unit features a full kitchen, work area with eight police radios, one fire radio, seven fixed-mount and four hand-held cellular phones.  The command area contains a fax/copy machine, electronic copyboard and nine intercom phones.  The Chicago Police Department purchased a custom-designed 35-foot 1987 Air Stream and equipped it with radios, computers, video, and copiers for $120,000 [above right].  The vehicle is set up with multiple cellular phones but also has the capability of taking in six hard-wired telephone lines which will serve the installed telephones, fax and computer.

Commercial step-vans are often redesigned as command vehicles.  Chicago Fire uses a 26-foot Chevrolet, designed by Utilimaster Corporation of Wakarusa, Indiana, as one of its five different command vehicles.   Each includes command consoles for both incident and EMS command, and feature microfilm screens containing geographical data and planning boards for tactical operations.  Santa Clara County (CA) Communications set up a 1975 International stepvan with two dispatch positions, each with a 10-slot radio console, to serve as an auxiliary incident command vehicle for Sheriff and County Fire dispatch.  The Monterey County, California, Mobile Emergency Coordination Unit (MECU) is a Utilimaster commercial van on a 1991 Chevrolet forward control truck chassis [below].  The MECU features a command and dispatch area staffed by qualified Incident Dispatchers when the van is deployed.  “A vital element of the MECU concept, the dispatchers act as the voice and ears of the incident commander as they maintain a direct communications link with the two Monterey County Communications Centers and other units as prescribed by the incident commander,” said Monterey County’s Harry B. Robins, Jr.

LDV has designed several of its popular command vehicles around Chevrolet and Grumman stepvan configurations, used by many police and fire agencies.   Two of them are in use by the Atlanta (GA) Police Department.  Their main unit is a 35-foot command unit used for critical incidents and community policing.  The vehicle has five workstations and is equipped with 4-line phones, radios, and CCTV.  A smaller 19-foot P30 van is also available, often used as a tactical DUI checkpoint CP.   The Kansas Highway Patrol owns a 25-foot 1993 GMC command unit designed by LDV, featuring seven radios, two phones, TV/VCR, PC, printer and two scanners. 

The Richmond (VA) Fire Department refurbished a 1969 Chevrolet stepvan that runs on liquid propane gas.  “The vehicle was acquired from the old Richmond Air Pollution Bureau, where it had been an experimental vehicle prior to the demolition of that bureau,” said Richmond Fire Chief Ronald C. Lewis.  “The Fire Department acquired it as surplus equipment, painted and outfitted by the City’s Automotive Maintenance Bureau.  It is still in great shape!”

    

Buses

With seats removed and the spacious interior designed with command and communication modules, renovated busses also make good command vehicles.  For less than $10,000, the Gilroy (CA) Fire Department acquired a used 18-foot 1968 International Lodestar 24-passenger bus, outfitted it with radio, telephone and computer apparatus, largely using donated equipment and volunteer help [right, interior].  The vehicle supplies mobile dispatch facilities in the event of PSAP failure with CAD support supplied by a portable 386 computer connected via modem to the primary dispatch center.  Cellular and hardwired phone and seven radios provide communications during major police and fire emergencies in the city.  “Comm 61 has full dispatch-on-the-move capability provided by three deep-cycle marine batteries mounted underneath the vehicle,” said Gilroy dispatcher Dave Larton.  “The unit can function without outside power for approximately four days.”

The Metro-Dade (FL) Police acquired a 40’ bus from their Transit Agency and outfitted it for $52,000 [below, exterior and interior].  The Santa Clara (CA) County Communications Center uses a 40-foot 1976 Gertenslager bus,  designed to provide communications capabilities from remote sites and to serve as a backup PSAP in the event the dispatch control room suffers a major system failure or requires evacuation.    The unit can be set up to ring down fire stations, hospitals, and ambulances.  24 radios are preset to the primary and secondary frequencies for most agencies in the county.

Gertenslager also provided a 30-foot bus to the Long Beach (CA) Police Department, which outfitted it as their Mobile Operation Center (MOC-1).  Featuring three dispatch consoles with eight radio channels each, PC and cellular and hardwired phones, MOC-1 also contains a bathroom, refrigerator, stove and water supply.  “Live video can be downloaded into the bus from the police helicopter during an incident to aid command staff with tactical decisions,” said LBPD Sgt. Larry Rhoads.

California OES operates a 1971 Gertenslager as a Fire/Rescue Support Unit in Fresno.  The Chicago Fire Department renovated a 26-foot Ford passenger bus -- the kind used by airports and corporations as VIP passenger coaches -- as one of its five Command Vans, replacing seats with communications and command equipment.  The  Orange County (CA) Fire Authority equipped a 40-foot 1973 MCI bus with three radio positions, computer/printer, and VCR, purchased and outfitted for $240,000.  Featuring plenty of cell phones and pre-wired phone connections, a VCR capable of dealing infra-red tapes, and a radio system compatible with those of virtually all fire agencies throughout the state, and that most vital of command post utilities: a restroom.

Another MCI bus transformed into a mobile command vehicle is the 40-foot unit operated by the San Joaquin (CA) Sheriff’s Department  [image, top of page].  Intended to emulate a sheriff’s office on wheels, the unit features a communications module with eight radios covering all county law enforcement agencies, and a cache of 12 portable radios.  The unit also includes six 486 laptop computers, three remote color cameras, TV and VCR with video printer, and a thermal imaging camera for nighttime search operations.  Staffed by STAR (Sheriff’s Team of Active Retired Seniors) volunteers.  The vehicle includes a refrigerator and tows a trailer carrying an all-important porta-potty for necessary on-scene rehab.  “The vehicle can sustain life for one week without refueling or shutting off our generator,” said Deputy Randy Loh.

 

Larger Trucks

In addition to motorhomes and buses, large cargo trucks have also been successfully and impressively designed as mobile command centers.  The Fire Department of New York City operates a 1985 Mack truck as its Field Communications center, responding to all greater alarms citywide. The unit carries four sound-powered telephones, five 500’ telephone cable reels, an MDT and two cellular phones, and two recorders for the tactical and command nets.  It is capable of establishing radio and telephone communications at an incident scene, supporting command staff who operate outside the vehicle.  The city of Quebec, Canada, outfitted in-house a 1974 International truck as a fire command vehicle, featuring radios, cell phones, PC and VCR.

The Police Department in Nassau County, New York, operates a 1993 LDV Mobile Command Post [left].  Built on all-aluminum Grumman body on a Chevrolet P6T042 forward control chassis, the 34-foot vehicle is equipped with a galley and rest room, features color TV monitors with VCR’s, video copy processors, two CCTV cameras, MDT, fax machine, laptop PC, laser printer, copier, portable cassette tape recorders and high speed duplicator.    LDV also custom-built a 44-foot command vehicle on a Chevrolet chassis for the Chicago O’Hare International Airport.  Operated by the Chicago Fire Department, the massive unit includes eight radio/telephone positions, kitchen and conference room.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police operate a number of command vehicles utilizing cargo truck configurations.  In Alberta, the RCMP’s Edmonton Emergency Response Team uses a 1987 Ford F700 truck as its command post, while the Calgary ERT operates a 1990 Ford F800.  Each air-conditioned van is equipped with MDT, radio, cellular phone and VCR.  The RCMP’s Ottawa, Ontario, division uses a 1985 Chevrolet low cab truck featuring a secure fax machine, cellular phone computer, video and radio communications.  California OES has equipped three 32-foot Ford cargo trucks as communications/command support units, available as mutual aid responders for fire/rescue emergencies throughout the state.  The newest, Support 4, is a 1987 Ford cargo truck purchased for $31,000.  The OES Fire Shop built the interior and installed eleven radios for an additional $30,000.  Separate command and communication areas were built into the cargo box, and numerous roof antennas along with a 27’ telescoping mast were mounted on the roof or side of the truck.

 

The Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department purchased a command unit from Emergency One in 1991, using the same chassis as the department’s engines and trucks [above].  The 34-foot unit cost the city $280,000.  It was outfitted and equipped by the city with radios, MDT, fax, cell phones, a microwave and a video display system.  Like most command units, Phoenix Fire’s rig is powered by two generators (one 15 kW PTO and a 7 KW diesel backup), and an RV battery backup pack.  It can also be connected to 50 amp shore power.  Seattle Fire utilizes a 1992 Peterbilt 320 series cargo van as their primary Incident Command and Communications unit.  Constructed in 1992 as a joint effort of the Seattle Fire Administrative Service and Emergency Operations departments, the ICU was custom-built at a cost of $182,466, with radio installation done at the FD shop [below, exterior and interior].

 

"The primary function of the command van is responding to catastrophes or any major incident as well as multiple alarms,” said Seattle Fire Chief Claude Harris.  “It provides all-channel radio frequency monitoring and communication from six work stations, as well as a weather station, TV and local radio monitors, and a separate conference quarters.”  The vehicle carries a 7.5 KW diesel generator that supports onboard electronics, including heat and A/C, fax and laptop computers.  Outside shore power can be obtained via an incorporated 50-amp receiver.  In addition, an onboard inverter allows all systems to function from the drive engine without the need of 120-volt supply.  Noise reduction accomplished during construction is so effective the onboard generator is barely noticeable while operating at capacity.  Rear and curbside exterior walls are outfitted with awnings for inclement weather.

The California Department of Forestry purchased five 37-foot Carlin vans at $500,000 each, outfitted them as fully-equipped mobile communication centers, back-up PSAPs to their base stations and able to support large incidents [right]. “Over-the-road mobility allows MCCs to travel to the scene of an emergency, establish a base of operations and provide communications capabilities even in remote areas when fixed communication facilities don’t exist,” said Glen Savage, CDF Telecommunications System Analyst.  The dispatch area includes two laptop computer work stations  and three Vega 5111 dispatch consoles with 14 GE radios, three scanner receivers, and a paging encoder.  Radio use is enhanced by a 30-foot pneumatic antenna mast.  The MCCs are also cabled for 1A2 telephone equipment to function as a mobile PSAP.

 

Tractor-Trailer Units

Most motorized command vehicles top out at 38 or 40 feet in length.  Command trailers range from small renovated camping-type trailers to full-sized tractor-trailer semi’s exceeding 50 feet in length, plus cab, operating as full-functioned, if unwieldy, mobile command centers.  In addition to their fleet of Support and ComStat vans, California OES also operates two trailered support units and a fleet of OASIS satellite trailers which can be towed to an incident and provide phone or radio communications via satellite.

The Sublette County, Wyoming,  Sheriff’s department used a loaned semi-trailer as a mobile command post for two weeks during a large 1994 gathering of the Rainbow Family cult at a Nationa Forest near Big Piney.  A joint effort of 12 different agencies, including the US Forest Service and the Wyoming Highway Patrol, were involved in security measures.  Equipped with Spillman CAD and RMS systems, radio communications and an NCIC link, the trailer provided essential command services for the peacekeeping assignment, according to Spillman rep Mary-Ann Muffoletto.

San Diego (CA) Police operate three mobile command posts, each a 65’ tractor-trailer combo [exterior above; interior, left].  One is designated as a Mobile Command Center, the other two function as Mobile Police Stations. Built by Callen Campers of El Cajon, CA, at a cost of $179,000 each, the trailers are equipped with radios, fax machines, computers, and phones.   The Command Center features a 3-position communications module while the Mobile Police Stations occupy this area with a holding cell for prisoners (dispatchers may ask if there is a difference!).  The San Jose (CA) Police Department uses a 1985 Ford tractor/trailer apparatus to provide both a mobile CP and an interim back-up to the Communications Center.  Constructed and outfitted by Alloy Trailers of Spokane, WA, the rig cost the city some $200,000 to outfit.  Its 40-foot trailer contains two Motorola Centracom II consoles, two cellular phonesets, MDT and a large command/conference area.  The vehicle is operated by patrol officers, supplemented by dispatchers if a temporary Comm Center is needed.  

    

New Concepts in Command Vans

While command vehicles have, for the most part, gotten bigger over the years, a new concept employed by the California Office of Emergency Services is producing them smaller.  “Years ago when the Comm van concept became a reality, they were designed to put your key decision makers out under one roof at an incident,” said Richard Epting, Communications Specialist for California OES.  These days, though, so many agencies have built their own Command vans that you have too many of them showing up at an incident scene.  “They lose the ability to intercommunicate,” said Epting.  “They set up at the same incident and function as separate cities, for all practical purposes.  The concept of the command van is voided.”

Epting’s answer was to employ a modular system delivered in a small, 1986 one-ton GMC van [left].  Three vans were built by ENG Mobile Systems of Concord, CA, costing between $200,000 and $300,000 each.  Designated as ICSV’s (Incident Communication Support Vehicles) and identified as RF1, RF2 and RF3 (for “Radio Frequency”), each unit has a different function.  RF1 is a microwave van, containing point-to-point microwave for video and T-1 telephone.  RF2 is the radio communications vehicle, while RF3 serves as a repeater platform, especially designed for use in a high RF environment. 

 “We built a van that could easily homogenize into any situation, and it does this by virtue of all radio equipment being remoted out of the vehicle,” said Epting.  RF2 contains a pair of portable Motorola dispatch consoles.  These elements can be placed in a van or building that is already operating on the scene.  RF2 includes three cell phones, two caches of portable radios, and a portable repeater system built into an Anvil case which can be set up on a mountain top to enhance incident communications.

 “Keeping the vehicle small is ultimately the concept of rapid deployment,” said Epting.  “Comm vehicles are often built on RV chassis, which typically don’t hold up over time because they’re not as strong as commercial chassis.  But large commercial chassis, while more rugged, may require a special class driver’s license or might not be able to access a rural CP.  Small, one-ton vans can go virtually anywhere short of 4WD requirements.”

Another very effective van-sized communications vehicle was constructed by the California Department of Forestry, Monterey-San Benito Ranger Unit [right].   Using a donated 1993 Ford Aerostar van, Unit 4629 contains ten radios covering virtually all fire frequencies statewide.  It includes a cellular phone with three different answering positions, fax machine, laptop computer that connects via modem to the CDF E-mail system, and a Global Positioning System interface. The rear doors open to reveal a fold-down desk with tactical radio and a programmable VHF transceiver.  A special antenna was installed to extend cellular coverage and the vehicle carries a CDF portable radio cache.  The vehicle can be operational within one minute of arrival at an incident. 

“Comm Unit 4629 is operated by volunteer personnel who are trained Comm Unit Leaders,” said CDF Volunteer Hampton Stewart.  “The IC can operate from the back of the unit while the Comm Unit Leader works on the inside, taking care of cellular coverage, resource ordering, and any other tasks that relieve communication operations from the IC so he or she can concentrate on the fire.  The Comm Center has immediate contact with the Comm Unit which eliminates many frustrations both ways.  It also provides another set of ears to help the IC remain on top of communications.”

Acquiring Mobile Command Posts

Costs for a mobile command or communications vehicle vary, depending on size, configuration and equipment installed.  The apparatus we surveyed ranged from $10,000 to $500,000 fully outfitted.  But an agency’s real costs may depend on the manner in which the vehicle is funded.  Numerous state and federal grants are available which can be used.  “As a result of a disaster or high-profile situation, funding can be released into that area for a communications or tactical command unit,” said Larry LaGuardia, Director of Sales and Marketing for Lynch Diversified Vehicles.   High-profile sporting or political events may also generate federal funding for specialized apparatus to provide security and safety for those events.  If the van is to be used to aid DUI checkpoints or crime prevention, grants may be available from those programs.  If it serves as a back-up PSAP, agencies might be able to use 9-1-1 funds.  “We’ve also seen vehicles purchased with corporate funding,” said Larry LaGuardia.  “If there’s a certain type of industry in an area that would be affected by a major incident, that industry might be willing to contribute to the funding of such a vehicle, particularly in the area of hazmat.”

“In some areas, agencies can divide their purchases into several pieces or spread them out over two fiscal years,” said Laurence Kahan, President of Odyssey Specialty Vehicles.  “Lease-purchases mean you get your vehicle immediately and pay for it over a period of time.”  Financing a command vehicle may also be an option; many government agencies can get preferred rates.  Or a bond issue submitted for voter approval may generate he necessary funds needed to purchase a command unit.  But “be prepared to work hard on behalf of the entire bond issue,” Kahan added.

Acquiring a used vehicle from another city or county department can save considerable costs.  The San Jose (CA) Fire Department obtained an unwanted 24-foot box van with existing cabinetry from the city's Water Pollution Control Plant and outfitted it in-house to create a very useful communications van for less than $11,000 [left].   Taking advantage of an inmate work force can also save costs.  The Metro-Dade (FL) Police command vehicle was renovated by workers from Florida’s P.R.I.D.E. (Prison Rehabilitative Industry Diversified Enterprise, a labor pool of inmates supervised by civilian technicians.  The Gilroy (CA) Fire Comm unit was painted by county inmates.

Often vehicles are jointly purchased by nearby communities who pool resources to purchase a vehicle, which is stored at a central location and available to with a trained crew each agency when needed.  A joint project with the cities of Bismarck and Mandan and the counties of Burleigh and Morton, North Dakota, transformed a 28-foot 1978 Alegro motorhome into a functional mobile command post/communications center.  A FEMA grant provided the costs of renovation and new equipment; the vehicle itself was acquired by trading in an old rescue truck donated by the Bismarck Fire Dept.  “The motorhome was completely gutted and rebuilt,” said Charles F. Wilz, Director of Bismarck/Burleigh Combined Communications.  “The offices of Emergency Management in Burleigh and Morton County are responsible for the van’s operation, while maintenance cost is shared by the four entities involved.”

Soliciting corporate donations may also reduce an agency's cost.  The San Joaquin County (CA) Sheriff's Office put together their command van by outfitting a retired passenger bus with more than $100,000 of corporate-donated property.  "I didn’t think it would hurt anything to ask a company to donate a product for this very unique project.  Our mission statement was to develop the most technically advanced mobile CP anywhere in the US.  The companies bought into the concept, and started donating material," said Deputy Randy Loh.

Additional funding ideas may only be limited by the creativity of the agency of community involved.  The city of Lowell, Massachusetts, pulled together community and business leaders for a variety of fund-raisers and business donations.  They formed the Spirit of Lowell Van Committee and raised enough funds to buy a fairly sophisticated vehicle.

Whatever it takes, whatever it’s size or configuration, acquiring a mobile command post can be a major benefit to the success of an agency’s emergency response as well as a lifesaver in the event of a Communication Center failure.

The vehicles highlighted here are a sampling of what’s in use nationwide, from suburbans to semi’s, law enforcement to fire suppression. Whether used as a tactical command post, mobile comm unit, or temporary mobile 9-1-1 PSAP, command vehicles have bnecome essential apparatus for public safety departments. 

Use the "Click to Search by Hot Topic" link to search for other new and archived article on mobile command/mobile communications vehicles and operations. Also see the California Mobile Command Center Rally page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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