Motorola recently introduced a timely solution called Incident and Event Management Solution to assist public safety in scene management of any incident, regardless of size. Historically, information shared during a large incident is generally accomplished by voice communication. Other data such as pictures, drawings, video, text data etc. are present and used but difficult to share with the different entities and locations involved in the response. The Incident and Event Management Solution combines applications, networks and devices to provide data and video information rapidly to assist command personnel in making decisions based on good information.
The Department of Homeland Security has stressed the need for increased interoperability for public safety communications and has set requirements to that end. The interoperability requirements include “the ability of public safety agencies to talk across disciplines and jurisdictions” and just as important, “the ability to communicate and share information as authorized when it is needed, where it is needed, and in a mode of form that allows the practitioners to effectively use it.” Motorola’s tackled this head on, and the result is the Incident and Event Management Solution that conforms to these requirements.
Incident scene information can easily be shared between responders. This wireless broadband solution suite can share large text and data files, allows the viewing of streaming video and, of course, permits communication. For example, think of the benefit of sketching out a scene or incident and being able to immediately share that with others on scene, even though they may not be at your specific location. Michael Fabbri, director of Data Solutions Operations, Motorola Networks and Enterprise, explained it this way: “Motorola’s new Incident Management suite gives first responders the ability to transmit video of an incident while using white board technology over the same network that allows them to share maps and blueprints.”
A portable video pod has a video camera and tripod, a portable power supply and wireless router that permits viewing, recording, storing and sharing of real-time data and images. Personnel, responding officers, command staff, and emergency operations center staff, can share blueprints, diagrams, drawings, maps, deployment strategies, etc. If the standard communication infrastructure has become inoperable or destroyed, the solution can operate as a stand-alone communication network.
Motorola notes the following elements in describing the benefits of the solution for commanders and first responders.
• It greatly improves situation awareness as personnel can share real-time information instead of merely speaking with others about what happened or is happening.
• Because information can be shared so easily, it requires fewer personnel as observers and acts as a force multiplier.
• The solution is flexible as it can handle small incidents and events to the largest possible imaginable.
• The Incident and Event Management Solution provides data interoperability using IP technology. Any text data, image, application or video that can run on IP, can be shared.
• The ability to share video and data information allows the sharing with offsite experts who might be critical in helping to bring the effort to a successful resolution.
• And perhaps most important, it provides an affordable starting point for mesh networking technology.
A brief scenario demonstrates the operational value of the solution. Starting with a 911 call, when first responders arrive on the scene, they can instantly share data by using a self-forming peer-to-peer mesh network. This shared information can take many forms, including maps, floor plans, real-time video, etc. As new personnel or vehicles with a handset arrive on scene, the mesh network senses their presence, and they are added to the network so everyone is aware—in real time—of events. As the incident progresses, an incident command vehicle can deploy remotely controlled high-resolution video cameras that have a 360-degree range. Other video pods, including vehicle-based and portable ones, can also be used. Other components might include location tracking, helping locate devices, assets and personnel. Data file transmissions and reports, such as mug shots, maps, and large data files, and incident scene collaboration and conferencing tools, such as white-boarding and data integration with other applications, can also be implemented. Personal Area Network devices, laptops and tablet devices can also be integrated. The use of Motorola’s Incident and Event Management Solution can assist in all levels of incident response, from the initial on-scene assessment to successful conclusion of the event and everything in between.
Motorola’s Deployable Incident Scene Solution provides an affordable base package. Customers can buy the base package and then add other capabilities as their agency funding permits. Most public safety agencies are well aware of the benefits of Incident Command, and all should know by now of the requirements of the introduction of NIMS into their agencies. As agencies continue to plan and prepare for future events, natural or manmade, products such as Motorola’s Incident and Event Management Solution can certainly make the incident more manageable for those agencies involved. The better the management, the better the outcome.
Kevin Gordon spent 25 years in law enforcement and retired as a chief of police. He is a national and regional officer of the International Police Association. He can be reached at Kevin@KGordon.com.