August 19, 2008

Mayor Daley, Fire Officials Unveil New Command Vehicle

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago Fire Department officials today unveiled the Chicago Fire Department's new "279 Incident Management Vehicle" that will strengthen the department's ability to communicate in both firefighting and rescue operations.

"Keeping our city safe and secure is not an easy job - especially in this age of terrorism," Daley said in a news conference at Navy Pier held after the Fire Department's graduation ceremony for new firefighters and paramedics.

"But through the combined efforts of well-trained personnel equipped with the latest technology and supported by an engaged and informed public, we are doing it," he said.

The "279 Incident Management Unit" is a command vehicle that carries the kind of state-of-the-art electronic equipment needed to coordinate communications and command at emergency events. In fact, it's designed for larger events where many agencies may be involved, Daley said.

It is bigger and more fully equipped than the command van the Fire Department has stationed at the city's heliport on the Southeast Side and it greatly enhances the department's ability to manage emergency events and to link up with other departments and agencies.

It is a state-of-the-art piece of equipment with advanced video, audio and satellite capabilities and it's able to feed all its information to a command tent or other facility near the vehicle.

"Obviously, this is the kind of communication it is critical to have when managing emergency situations, which is a big part of our responsibility in city government as we work to keep Chicagoans safe and secure," the Mayor said.

Among other things, the "279" features:

  • One EV-DO cellular data connection to the vehicle's onboard IP network
  • Two Telular devices for access to the commercial CDMA cellular network - connected to the vehicle's VOIP infrastructure
  • Ten VOIP telephones connected to the vehicle's onboard IP network
  • One receive-only video system capable of receiving two simultaneous channels of DirecTV
  • Onboard microwave receiver to capture and transmit CFD helicopter or tactical camera video transmissions live to the OEMC
  • One 42" pneumatic camera mast with remotely-controlled Pelco camera that transmits live to the OEMC
  • Mobile Radios for communication for four (4) positions
  • Integration of the aforementioned satellite video system with existing onboard video distribution and display systems
  • One Ku-Band satellite terminal (vehicle-mounted antenna, controller, and satellite modem) compatible with the existing OEMC satellite system supporting 1Mbps
  • One spectrum analyzer capable of displaying satellite signals the L-Band(950-2150 MHz)
  • One Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) capable of supporting the vehicle's core communications and computing devices for at least ten minutes in case of a failure of primary power
  • The ability to feed all technologies mentioned above to a command tent or facility near the vehicle

"As I just told the graduates who today have joined the ranks of our fire department as firefighters and paramedics, it's the responsibility of the city to provide them with up-to-date facilities and equipment that make use of the most advanced technology," Daley said.

"Keeping our city safe and secure is not an easy job - especially in this age of terrorism.

But through the combined efforts of well-trained personnel equipped with the latest technology and supported by an engaged and informed public, we are doing it," he said.