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City of Charlotte Fire Department Places Comms-ONE into Service

Published on 16 December 2008
City of Charlotte Fire Department Places Comms-ONE into Service

The Charlotte Fire Department placed their E-ONE Comms-ONETM unit into full-time service. Designated by the department as "Field Comm-1", the unit serves to provide advanced communications and interoperability capabilities for the department, North Carolina Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 3 (USAR TF-3), as well as assist with regional communications for the Charlotte UASI region.

"We found out how useful the unit was about two hours after we put it in service. Our hazmat teams got called out for an incident and we were on scene with the Field Comm unit before our crews even got there," said Greg Hauser, telecommunication supervisor and Field Comm leader for the City of Charlotte Fire Department.  "This unit is unique in the fact that the vehicle was built around the communications, not the communications around the vehicle.  It's practical.  In a matter of five minutes we have communications."

Developed by E-ONE together with Incident Communications Solutions (ICS), Comms-ONE provides a first-to-arrive lifeline for responders on the front lines of public safety and emergency management.

"E-ONE recognized the crucial need for cross agency communication and the need for first responders to be fully connected in all emergency and disaster situations," said Bill Caroll, director of Product Management for E-ONE.  "Together, E-ONE and ICS now offer technologies which allow first responders to reach back into their infrastructures to improve response times and resource allocations - making departments more productive and saving lives."

The SUV-based system delivers radio communications and interoperability, broadband wired and wireless data, telephone and video conferencing capabilities utilizing VSAT broadband satellite services. The Tactical-IPSM Satellite service provides the Charlotte Comms-ONE unit with 3Mb/s download and 1Mb/s upload speeds anywhere in the continental United States.

"The Field Comm unit has given our department a greater connectivity with multiple disciplines in the city of Charlotte and surrounding areas," says Jeff Dulin, Deputy Chief of Special Operations and Homeland Security at the Charlotte Fire Department. "Upon arrival at the scene of an event, it instantly creates a communications bridge that enables the communications between all responders on scene and simultaneously enables the passing of real time information to our emergency operation center, allowing us to make quicker strategic decisions."

"The Charlotte Fire Department has emerged as a leader in emergency communications for First Responders. They required a mobile solution that would allow them to provide the critical communications that are necessary at any incident scene, whether that be a working fire, a missing person search, or something as large as an area devastated by a hurricane," says Stephen Morgan, President of ICS.

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