It is no secret that Federal Regulations surrounding Emergency Response Preparedness after such events like September 11th and the Fukushima disaster have increased considerably, placing even greater regulatory burden on critical infrastructure companies here and abroad. Though not directly dictating specific actions, and true to fashion, federal regulations are somewhat vague. But the intent is clear: be prepared with planning, technology and sufficient personnel resources to execute emergency operations in the event of a catastrophic emergency. Key to meeting these regulations is responding to and comprehending the implications of 49 CFR 192.615, which states:“Notifying appropriate fire, police, and other public officials of gas pipeline emergencies and coordinating with them both planned responses and actual responses during an emergency.”Gas and power utilities are required to create incident response plans, practice the execution of these plans and coordinate with local First Responders in actual emergency events. Communication and information availability is critical. In fact, in a recent IDL survey of emergency managers over 90% recognized that improved interoperability is a high priority need and requires increased attention and budget allocation. For one Gas & Power company on the west coast this meant focusing on emergency communications capabilities similar to those in use by public first responders and the military. While enormous efforts have been put forth to meet demands of handling the 10X increase of incoming calls during emergencies (brought on by the proliferation of cell phones), little attention has been paid to what was required if and when every means of communication were eliminated.Company Profile:The west coast based utility covers a large geographic area and operates multiple command centers. Over 42K miles of natural gas pipeline arc across their region. Hydroelectric facilities add to the complicated response scenarios that this company must plan and execute. The company is at the forefront in Incident Response Planning and consistently invests in new response capabilities to assist local Public Safety. In particular, the company recently completed a comprehensive emergency plan for large-scale events and has conducted numerous “practice events” to ensure that operational excellence follows comprehensive planning.The Gas & Power Company identified several challenges to comprehensively respond to multiple emergency scenarios:
The Solution:The Gas & Power Company chose a TRAILER COMMUNICATION PLATFORM and a FLY-AWAY SATELLITE COMMUNICATION KIT to meet their needs for Incident Response Communications.The TRAILER COMMUNICATION PLATFORM provided a flexible operation platform for communicating with all emergency response agencies. Fire, Police and Ambulance Services, County and City government agencies and the Coast Guard were available via RF and VSAT modalities leveraging CISCO IP protocols. Delivering both Radio-over-IP (ROIP) and Voice-over-IP (VOIP) allowed commanders to seamlessly exchange multimedia information to both tactical teams and those in Command Centers. The Company chose the OSPREY™ from PEAKE. of Maryland to house the IP-based communications infrastructure.
With a mid-term communications solution in hand, The Company next addressed those same needs at the most remote and least accessible branches of their operational region. ”First In” Teams would require a highly mobile yet firmly reliable communications system in the most severe topographies. A Flyaway configuration ensured both lower costs and maximum mobility in a small footprint. Still IP-based and providing flexible bandwidth for response scenarios, the Flyaway ensured remote personnel could reliably communicate with multiple agencies.The TICS WARRIOR-S by PEAKE provides the following capability to the Gas and Power Company:
Key Benefits IdentifiedAs the company became more familiar with the technologies and used the equipment during planned and real situations, key benefits emerged.
Why PEAKEPEAKE has a proven record in Emergency Response communication with Public Safety, Government Agencies and advanced military tactical teams. PEAKE delivers cutting edge technologies in flexible, mobile platforms and in fixed central command center environments. From extensive knowledge in advanced communications to a design expertise of large command installations, PEAKE is the leader in configuring diverse emergency communication technologies in reliable, easy to use packages. Public Safety has long looked to PEAKE to build command trucks, flexible trailers and mobile flyaway platforms. Backed by years of professional consulting in Emergency Planning, PEAKE engineers know how to develop practical systems that work under the most demanding situations.