Emergency situations rarely happen on a convenient schedule or at pre-determined locations. But, Houston Airports Safety & Emergency Management Division has an answer to the sometimes challenging aspects of responding to an emergency — a mobile Incident Command Vehicle that can operate like a fully equipped Emergency Operations Center from nearly any location and at nearly any time. It can facilitate effective unified command with response partners like local police and fire, and both state and federal agencies.
The large vehicle was purchased from Motorola and put into service in June 2016. On board the 40-foot, 26,000-pound vehicle is the technology necessary to coordinate communication, asset management and leadership response during an emergency, and all of it is compatible with current airport technology.
“Emergencies require both preparation and the tools necessary to respond to any situation,” said Frank Ciaccio, the Emergency Management Coordinator for the airports’ Safety & Emergency Management Division. “This vehicle has the tools to make response timely and effective. If there is a weather-related emergency and we ever lost our primary mode of communication, this vehicle is capable of being the airports’ single point of contact. It also gives us the flexibility to provide on-scene incident command anywhere at any of our three airports. It allows us to put people in the places they need to be to respond to an emergency situation and not be limited by existing infrastructure.”
With 12 work stations, a 48-foot boom equipped with a high-definition camera and linked to four external cameras, Wi-Fi, cellular and satellite connection capabilities, on-board and backup generators for power and more, the vehicle is ready to provide on-scene support for any emergency operation.
It also can provide on-site support for planned events, like Wings Over Houston at Ellington Airport, and can serve as a backup to the Airport Communication Center.