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Back to Archives | Back to October 2005 Contents 

Advances & Applications

Washington State Announces New Incident Planning and Mapping System
The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) and Prepared Response Inc. (PRI) announce the development of a critical incident planning and mapping system (CIPMS) for the state of Washington. The statewide system, available on laptop computers or via the Internet, is designed to provide police, fire, and other first responders with instant access to more than 300 data points per facility, including tactical response plans, satellite imagery, exterior and interior photos, floor plans, utility shutoffs, and hazardous chemical locations.

The CIPMS system is designed to provide police, fire, and other emergency responders with critical facility information allowing them to save lives and mitigate property damage.

The program is the result of a bill passed by the state legislature in 2003 that delegated to WASPC the responsibility to create and operate a statewide planning and mapping system. Congress appropriated more than $1.5 million to initially fund the program in 2004. In June 2005 WASPC issued a request for proposal that resulted in proposals from 10 companies nationwide. After a formal review process, WASPC awarded the contract to Seattle-based Prepared Response Inc. (PRI).

"This innovative program is the result of strong governmental support by Gov. Christine Gregoire, Congressman Adam Smith, and State Representative John Lovick," said Don Pierce, executive director of WASPC. "Whether it's a terrorist incident, a hazmat spill, an earthquake, or a volcanic eruption, first responders in Washington state now will be better prepared to quickly respond and mitigate an emergency."

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Mississippi County's Communications System Survives Katrina
M/A-COM Inc. announces that the M/A-COM EDACS (Enhanced Digital Access Communications System) simulcast trunked radio system installed in Harrison County, Mississippi, remained operational at nearly 100 percent capacity throughout Hurricane Katrina and is now serving as the base of communications for more than 1,000 additional users now in the area to provide emergency support.

The simulcast system, which consists of three 20-channel sites and two 10-channel sites, was installed in 2003 to serve law enforcement, fire, emergency medical, emergency management, and public utility services in Harrison County, which includes two of the Mississippi cities most heavily affected by Hurricane Katrina, Gulfport and Biloxi.
Four of the five separate sites withstood the hurricane; the fifth was damaged when a microwave dish shifted in the heavy winds. That site was repaired less than 48 hours after the storm's passing.

Working at complete capacity since midday on Wednesday, August 31, the Harrison County EDACS system enabled area first responders to maintain critical communications before, during and after the storm.

The system currently provides the interoperability to link the many agencies that have arrived from surrounding areas, such as the Florida State Police and Florida Fish and Wildlife Agency, who are assisting with rescue and recovery operations.

"While this emergency has been truly catastrophic for our community, we believe that the situation would have been even more dangerous had our first responders and other public safety officials not had access to consistent, uninterrupted radio communications capabilities throughout the initial ordeal and continuing on to today," said Gil Bailey, telecommunications manager for Harrison County. "Not only has our M/A-COM EDACS system held up to the extreme conditions brought about from Katrina, but the technical support and rapid response of the M/A-COM team has been tremendous."

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Choctaw Nation Casino Chooses Network Video Recorders for Security
Petards announces that the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has chosen the Petards UVMS 5500 network video recorder for the new casino, which is scheduled to open later this year. The award was made after a competitive evaluation exercise run by Technical Investigative Services, a consulting company.

The world-class Choctaw casino in Durant is 90 minutes north of Dallas in the heart of Texomaland and represents a major addition in the choice of gaming venues in Oklahoma.

Under the contract, Petards will supply the casino with a state-of-the-art digital network recorder for recording and control of the casino's cameras, which are expected to expand to approximately 1,000 cameras. According to the company, the Petards UVMS system was selected due to its versatility, ease of use, and expansion capabilities.

The UVMS system is designed to simultaneously record conventional closed-circuit TV cameras as well as Internet Protocol (IP) cameras from a wixde range of manufacturers including IPIX and AXIS Communications. The UVMS incorporates a virtual switch matrix for controlling the video wall display. ■

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From The Police Chief, vol. 72, no. 10, October 2005. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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