Communications technologies for first responders were tested as part of the 2013 EDGE Innovation Winter Institute exercise, hosted at TEEX’s Disaster City on Nov. 4-8. The EDGE® Innovation Network brings together industry, academia, and non-profit organizations, along with government entities, to collaborate in an open community environment to rapidly deliver new technologies and innovative capabilities to warfighters and first responders.
The goal of the Winter Institute is to integrate, exercise, and evaluate command and control and communications technologies in support of the first responder community. The live exercise scenario was a simulated severe tornado event, spanning from Disaster City to the Texas A&M Riverside Campus with two distinct areas of operation.
This exercise centered on the 4G long-term evolution (LTE) 700 MHz network, integrating EDGE members’ technologies to explore how new products can be used to benefit first responders, gain feedback and provide direction for further product development.
The EDGE Innovation Network, through the Winter Institute Exercise, is helping to prepare and refine the network in support of first responders before the nationwide public safety network is deployed. One goal of this exercise is to capture the unique needs this community has and assess how the network must operate to support their efforts.
Members of Texas Task Force 1 and other Texas public safety agencies participated in the exercise, along with EDGE Member companies: General Dynamics C4 Systems, Motorola Solutions, VisLink, Squire Tech Solutions, Image Insight, RT Aerostat Systems and AT&T. Besides TEEX, other technology participants included Texas A&M University and its Internet 2 Technology Evaluation Center, the Center for Emergency Informatics and the Center for Robot-Assisted Search & Rescue (CRASAR) of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, Shook USA, CalAmp, Solomon Technology Solutions, InMotion Technology, and Twisted Pair Solutions.
KBTX-TV ran a segment titled “Emergency Officials: New Cell Technology Could Save Lives.” Watch the video.