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Media Release

Enhancing communications during emergencies
Thursday 27 July 2017 – 3:35 PM

​A high tech communications vehicle that will give emergency responders valuable intelligence during bushfires and other major incidents is today being officially handed over to volunteer emergency services.

The Communication Support Vehicle’s satellite equipment operates independently of established mobile network infrastructure, enabling communications in isolated areas or where networks are congested or not available.

Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Acting Deputy Commissioner Gary Gifford said dependable network infrastructure is important to ensuring communications are always maintained.

“During large scale incidents such as bushfires the vehicle will be used to provide a satellite communications link from the incident location and firefighters on the ground back to the DFES State and Regional Operations Centres,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Gifford said.

The vehicle has already assisted fire crews map fire behaviour more quickly and efficiently during an Upper Swan bushfire thanks to its ability to download and record aerial surveillance images instantly. 

Acting Deputy Commissioner Gifford said the vehicle’s satellite technology also acted as a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot giving other emergency responders including WA Police the ability to access the internet in reception dead zones.

“There are many people involved in responding to emergencies, both on the frontline and in support roles, and being able to share information between them during emergencies is crucial in protecting the community,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Gifford said.

The CSV is a long wheel base van that includes an internal office space with two workstations and its own power supply, as well as a video camera allowing for real time images to be viewed at the various operations centres across the State. 

The commissioning will involve an official handover of the van from DFES to the State Emergency Service Communications Support Unit – one of five volunteer units in the State Wide Operational Response Division.

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Media Contact: DFES Media and Corporate Communications 9225 5955​​
 

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