|Excelerate's ICU enables real-time voice, data and video information to be shared|
Gwent Police has unveiled what is almost certainly the most advanced mobile Incident Command Unit (ICU) to be ordered by the UK's police service to date. Developed by Excelerate Technology
in partnership with a team from Gwent Police's Emergency Planning Department, it will provide a tactical silver command solution that would ensure preparedness for all civil contingencies throughout Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen in Southeast Wales. The vehicle will also be deployed at large-scale public events such as the forthcoming Ryder Cup and the Ebbw Vale Eisteddfod.
"We worked hand in hand with Excelerate Technology to develop a bespoke solution that has met all our tactical, strategic and technological requirements within available budgets," commented Simon Leonard of Gwent Police's Emergency Planning Department. "We are extremely proud of our new mobile ICU which will enable us to better serve our local community and improve public confidence in our work."
This advanced ICU has a roof-mounted transportable satellite solution that enables real-time voice, data and video information to be shared with Gold Command to provide a common operating picture. The roofline was converted to provide a practical and spacious working environment for operational personnel working inside the vehicle where three workstations have been installed with ruggedised screens on which a wide range of specialised command support applications can be run. These include risk and asset management database information and email, instant messaging and video-conferencing.
The ICU by system integrators, Excelerate Technology Ltd., has played a pivotal role during Operation Utah on 11th December 2009
Two large flat-screen monitors have also been installed inside the ICU to enable silver command staff operating at the scene of an incident to view television news pictures and live video images transmitted into the vehicle from the external, mast-mounted CCTV camera or body worn cameras. An additional ‘heli-tele' down link enables aerial images to be received in real-time from helicopters flying over the incident ground and all images can be streamed via the satellite links to a secure server where they can be accessed by Gold Command.
The ICU also features a wall-mounted electronic whiteboard and an internal CCTV camera with full audio recording for evidential and review purposes. Outside, a large touch screen display has been installed under a heated awning for outdoor briefing sessions.
According to David Savage, CEO of Excelerate Technology, "Our operational and technical expertise was called into play throughout the development of this vehicle which breaks new ground for the police. The finished ICU was demonstrated for the first time at the recent Emergency Services Show where it generated high levels of interest from police forces across the UK looking to enhance their civil contingency capabilities."
Gwent's new ICU has already been deployed to a number of major incidents and played a pivotal role during Operation Utah on 11th December 2009. This large-scale operation targeted travelling criminals in Gwent and involved more than 150 police officers from 6 forces and representatives from the DVLA, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), VOSA (Vehicle Inspectorate), HM Revenue and Customs, Her Majesty's Court Service and the Environment Agency. The vehicle provided essential communications throughout the operation which resulted in 32 vehicles being seized and 13 people arrested.