Next-generation emergency response vehicles in the UK will soon hit the road equipped with always-on network technologies capable of transmitting and receiving real-time video, voice and data feeds in a wide variety of formats. The Mobile Incident Response Vehicles, or MIRVs, were designed by Cardiff, Wales-based Excelerate Technology – UK information, communications and technology provider for emergency service organizations – and feature wireless infrastructure mesh technology from Los Gatos, Calif.-based Firetide. The developer of wireless mesh infrastructure networks, Firetide provides the advanced tools required to create ad-hoc networks that can transfer critical data between medical vehicles and personnel within and around “hot zones” during a major hazardous incident.
Excelerate developed its MIRV systems to satisfy goals prescribed within the UK's Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) initiative. HART was created to identify new ways of allowing ambulance personnel access to the “inner cordon” – the hot zone – when an emergency event requires the support of mobile medical teams. Prior to the initiative, ambulances and staff were required to remain outside the primary incident area where potential contamination was not present until other agencies could arrive and declare an area free of hazardous materials. The increasing threat of chemical, biological and other events have encouraged health and security officials to elevate the role of emergency medical response services to include the inner cordon.
The list of features in an Excelerate MIRV reads like that of a major broadcasting station. Each includes a handful of LCD displays; satellite communications; private GSM networks; PBX; optical, thermal and body-worn CCTVs; and more. Critical to bringing the data together and helping emergency teams rapidly coordinate, Firetide's wireless infrastructure mesh backbone provides ambulances with reliable and sophisticated networking for distributing information between vehicles on the move.
Firetide's solutions, which include self-forming Ethernet-based wireless networks, allow network administrators to quickly set-up IP-based components designed for use within a mobile network. No matter where they are installed or how fast they're moving, devices connected to Firetide nodes such as video cameras, satellite receivers, recording devices and even vehicles themselves can easily recognize and pass critical real-time data between one another according to predetermined rules.