Emergency Vehicle Visits Brazos Valley
Since 2001, whenever a natural disaster occurs, the Emergency Communications Response Vehicle or ECRV is always close by.
The first prototype for the vehicle was used in the aftermath of 911, since then eight other vehicles have been created to aid in disaster response.
"Its main function is to bring communications- open lines of communications into areas that have been devastated by some type of event, whether it be a hurricane, tornado, floods. When the local infrastructure, telephones, and radios are damaged from winds or flooding and the systems are at a failure point. We have the ability to work different types of radio equipment, and different types of digital services out of this truck," said Sal Gullo an ECRV operator and trainer.
When responding to disasters, trained operators of the equipment follow a list of certain protocols when arriving at the site. John Moore, a Disaster Communications volunteer stated, "We determine how we can best set up to get a lock on the satellite to be able to provide them with internet connectivity for operational purposes. And for telephone communications back over the satellite systems to the National Red Cross."
The vehicles are 2000 Ford Excursions which were donated by Ford. They range in value at around three-hundred thousand dollars a piece.
The vehicles are equipped with top of the line equipment. "There are laptop computers, phones, other radio equipment, networking gear, so that if we park outside a facility we can bring our networking into that building to support operation headquarters if necessary," said Gullo.
The vehicle is one of nine of its kind in the nation.