Pierce Manufacturing, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) company, placed a Pierce® mobile command vehicle into service with the city of Fremont, California. Built on a Pierce Velocity™ custom chassis, the apparatus addresses a wide range of emergency response needs of both the Fremont Fire and Police Departments. It was acquired through funding from an Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant.
“We began working with Pierce and our city’s IT department, as well as members of the Fremont Police Department, to design a rig that could serve the needs of both organizations,” said Gary Ashley, captain and paramedic of the Fremont Fire Department and a tactical paramedic and response officer of the Fremont Police SWAT-TEMS unit. “We started brainstorming together and, because our team saw its potential for other uses, the rig quickly morphed from the original design.”
“This Pierce custom mobile command vehicle is an excellent case study of our working together with a top-notch local dealer and their customer to create an apparatus with innovative and comprehensive capabilities,” said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire & Emergency. “Fremont is a dynamic community in the heart of Silicon Valley, and this apparatus’ presence there is already generating a great deal of interest throughout the West Coast and across the country.”
The Pierce Velocity custom chassis features a DD13 450 hp engine, a 274-inch wheelbase, a Command Zone™ advanced electronics system, and an automatic leveling and stabilizing system. The two-door cab sports a 34.5-foot mobile command body with an 85.75-inch interior walkway height and three slide-out modules to increase workspace.
Interior highlights include six workstations, a comprehensive satellite data network, dual wireless modems, a radio dispatch system, and an IP-based telephone network. An extensive audio video system is linked to 27 monitors located throughout the vehicle. The unit’s A/V system is managed by a matrix switcher, with five remote keypads that allow individual monitor display control from each keypad. To extend on-scene capabilities, the apparatus is equipped with complete galley and lavatory accommodations.
“The vehicle can operate as a mobile dispatch center – with satellite communications capabilities – something our community has not had before this truck arrived,” said Ashley. “According to AT&T, when it’s fully deployed, this will be the first vehicle on the West Coast with the ability to answer cellular network 9-1-1 mobile calls. That’s a tremendous benefit to our community.”
With the fire department’s ability to house, operate and maintain the command vehicle, the apparatus has found its home at a fire station. A two-person SWAT team, trained to set up the vehicle’s systems once on site of a police emergency, will eventually be cross-trained to drive the apparatus.
“It’s a very modular vehicle; the equipment and seating arrangements can be quickly reconfigured based on the response,” said Ashley. “Its mission could involve police deployment, SWAT team support, fire, HAZMAT, rescue, and any major disaster or significant public event. In the short time it’s been in service, it has found itself to be a very busy truck!”
Golden State Fire Apparatus of Modesto, California is Pierce’s local dealer. “Our experience with Golden State and Pierce has been nothing but positive,” added Ashley. “We have a lot of unique equipment needs, and much of this specialized equipment is Pierce. Pierce and Golden State have never let us down.”