In an ideal world, public safety personnel would control all the variables in an emergency situation. But in reality, this just isn’t possible. However, new mobile technology is drastically improving their efforts by transforming the way emergency responders communicate in times of crisis.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans , it became clear – to say the least – that our nation was ill-prepared to deal with such a disaster. Failed networks and communications problems only added to the many problems that plagued the region.
Now, three years after Katrina, another hurricane has plowed through the Gulf region, but this time, COWs (Cells on wheels) and COLTs (Cells on Light Trucks) beat Gustav to the region, ensuring that first responders would not have to deal with communication challenges caused by network failures and power outages.
The tremendous impact this mobile equipment has had cannot be overstated. Not only does it provide real time information to strategically move personnel to critical locations, but most importantly, it has also dramatically enhanced the safety of emergency personnel by keeping them abreast of any possible changing dynamics.
This equipment also is used for major public events including Super Bowl XXXVIII in my hometown of Houston , and most recently in Denver and Minneapolis as thousands of convention-goers flocked to the Democratic and Republican conventions.
Unfortunately, with the end of hurricane season still months away and two more storms headed our way, the COWs and COLTs will likely be in high demand this year.