New York state has acquired three new quick response mobile command and communications vehicles outfitted with advanced, state of the art technology that will greatly enhance communication and coordination between first responders at emergency scenes and large public events.
The three trucks, which will be staffed and operated by the state police, expands the state’s fleet of command vehicles, allowing for quick deployment of a mobile command post for emergencies anywhere in the state, said New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico.
“The ability to manage resources and communicate between agencies is a critical part of managing natural disasters and other large scale emergencies,” said D’Amico. “With these vehicles, we now have the ability to quickly provide our incident commanders and other first responders with the latest tools and technology necessary to manage an emergency incident or large public event, and provide better service to the public.”
The vehicles are designed to serve as an incident command center for emergency response when suitable facilities do not exist. The vehicles can also be used to coordinate security for state police and other agencies at large public gatherings, including the New York State Fair. They will be available to other state agencies as needed.
“The ability to mobilize quickly and communicate effectively is crucial during any type of disaster or emergency. These vehicles will be essential to improving the State’s response capabilities and is another tool for improving public safety in New York State," said John Melville, commissioner of the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
The trucks contain a six-person conference room for incident command activities, and radio dispatch positions with computer workstations. The dispatch equipment includes radios that can operate on state police frequencies and statewide interoperability frequencies, along with radios that are capable of communicating with county and local agencies in the regions where they are deployed. In addition, the vehicles have cellular phones and data links capable of operating on multiple networks, as well as satellite phones and a satellite data link to facilitate communication in areas that lack cellular service.
The technology also includes a video downlink that will allow incident commanders to view live video fed from state police helicopters.
The new trucks will be stationed in Western New York, Central New York and the North Country. A fourth truck from the current fleet, which has been upgraded to provide the same capabilities as the new trucks, will be stationed to cover the Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island.
The new vehicles cost $350,000 each, and were funded by a federal grant administered through the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.