Frontline Communications, a division of Pierce Manufacturing Inc., and a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation, announced today Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida, has taken delivery of three disaster response vehicles incorporating advanced communication and technology features. Sold through Pierce and Frontline Communications’ dealer, Ten-8 Fire Equipment, the highly customised vehicles include two C-25 Mobile Command Vehicles and one C-33 Mobile Command Centre.
“When hurricane Michael came through in 2018, it was a category 5 event resulting in extensive damage and communications challenges,” said James Baxley Jr., executive director of radio, TV, and broadcasting with Gulf Coast State College. “We aimed to close communications gaps and do a better job next time, and our new Frontline Communications disaster response vehicles provide us with the most technologically advanced resources to face future events. The vehicles were obtained through the Triumph Grant and maintain an eight-county memorandum of understanding to be put in service where and when needed to support emergency operations.”
Some of the most notable system design and integrated communications attributes of Gulf Coast State College’s new disaster response vehicles include:
- Cellular and satellite data network
- Point-to-point transmission system 2+ gigabit per minute
- Dual HD/thermal PTZ camera
- Columbia weatherstation
- HAM radio system with auto-tuning and PC controls
- Video switching matrix
- Multiple PCs for data processing
- 42-foot mast for custom antenna/camera deployment
- Docking station for TVU cellular backpack encoder
- Exterior workstation with anti-glare monitor
- Electric awning
- UHF, VHF, and HAM radios
The vehicles’ data services on a cellular and satellite backbone are augmented by a mast-based, point-to-point transmission system featuring auto-acquisition and transfer rates of over two gigabit per minute, intended for transfer of live UAV video between trucks.
Baxley added, “With over 40 years of building communications vehicles, we knew Frontline Communications would be able to deliver what we needed. These new vehicles were customised to fit our needs, and we hope even more than the eight counties around us will benefit from their remarkable features when they are faced with water, hurricanes, fire, and other emergencies.” Gulf Coast State College’s new disaster response vehicles were delivered in late May, and emergency responders have begun extensive training to properly utilise the assets when needed. “We’ve appreciated having the opportunity to work with Gulf Coast State College developing vehicles which will provide critical disaster response and communications support for such a substantial geographic area in Florida,” said Rob McAtee, fire apparatus sales representative with Ten-8 Fire Equipment. “The customised design of the two C-25 Mobile Command Vehicles and one C-33 Mobile Command Centre incorporates some of the most advanced features we’ve built into specialty vehicles to date. Our team, and our partners at Frontline Communications, look forward to providing dedicated support for training, service, and beyond.”
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