Mobile Command Technologies Aim to Improve Fire Response
The new mobile command center technologies are designed to provide the county with greater flexibility in responding to fires.
“From a county standpoint, this new technology is critical for us to quickly detect and locate wildfires and deploy appropriate resources,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg tells KPIX. “We will be better able to make evacuation zones easy to understand and communicate with residents.”
The county purchased two Mobile Operations Satellite Emergency Systems (MOSES) units and a new mobile communications and incident support vehicle. According to KPIX, the MOSES units serve as communications hubs for firefighters “in areas with no service to connect to broadband and communicate with first responders, evacuees or local communities during or after major disasters.”
“One thing we have seen about wildfires is that they are advancing so fast that we are unable to provide evacuation warnings and orders for citizens … and we are also unable to back build a typical cellular infrastructure when the fire department starts to move in,” Justin Stockman, a Santa Clara County Fire Department captain, tells KPIX. “That has a direct negative impact on citizens and our ability to carry operations, so MOSES solves those problems.”
In addition to the MOSES equipment, the communications and incident support vehicle will allow the county to set up a command center to help coordinate responses to large wildfires. According to KPIX, it provides its own power, internet and weather monitoring.
Firefighters and other first responders can use the mobile command center to meet at a central location near the fire and then track all of the resources assigned to fires, Stockman tells KPIX. This way, the fire department can improve both safety and efficiency, he says.