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Monday, 27 February 2006 20:06

Qld Fire Service creates mobile command centre

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The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, with the assistance of Dimension Data, has deployed Cisco Systems' switching, voice, and wireless technology to create what is claimed to be Australia's first IP-based mobile command centre.

The mobile command centre allow QFRS to establish forward command positions much closer to the edge of major incident sites such as bushfires through which fire officers can access and share tactical information such as incident plans, front line status reports, maps, and weather reports downloaded from the Bureau of Meteorology website.

The core components of the new QFRS mobile command centre installed by Dimension Data fit in the back of standard van, or in several station wagons for rapid deployment. The technology includes a Cisco 1760 gateway, a Cisco Aironet 1200 wireless access point, a Cisco 3560 power over ethernet switch and several Cisco 7960 IP phones. When the system is connected to the satellite dish, it provides voice, data, and video communications and network links to DES headquarters at Kedron Park in Brisbane.

QFRS district inspector, Wayne Waltisbuhl, said: We really rely on our field crews to give us up to date and accurate information: things such as weather conditions, fire behaviour and fuel loadings are so important for our team to develop objectives and strategies."
 
The system was first deployed with full IP communications capabilities during a fire at Kilcoy in October 2004. Since then, bandwidth has been upgraded to allow more concurrent phone calls, video services and file sharing.

 

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