North Carolina Urban Search and Rescue Taskforce 8 (NCTF-8), has taken delivery of an ICS pCom 355 providing the team with on-scene communications, clean power, and lighting for disaster response and recovery.
The ICS pCom 355 features comprehensive communications along with other key capabilities in a rapidly deployable form factor. The self contained unit provides NCTF-8 with 10kVa power generation system with a five day on-board diesel fuel supply, a 41-ft pneumatic tower, and an auto-acquisition satellite antenna on a robust small trailer-based platform.
ICS pCOM® 355 Network RackThe heart of the ICS pCom 355 is the fully converged IP-based network. This network provides the Taskforce with voice and data capability to onsite elements or allows for reach back to command staff in a central location. The Tactical-IP™ Broadband VSAT service provides the system with 3 Mb/s downlink and 1 Mb/s uplink offering robust connectivity no matter location or conditions. The capabilities of the ICS pCom 355 can be extended into a base camp, other mobile command center, or a forward operating base with the Outrigger® Tactical Network Extension System.
NCTF-8 upgraded the standard ICS pCom 355 to include a wireless mesh system. The mesh system provides 802.11 wireless capabilities to other command units or can scale to provide coverage over the entire incident area.
The ICS pCom 355 provides comprehensive on-scene LMR communications via the on-board Motorola MTR-2000 VHF Mobile Repeater. The mobile repeater, coupled with an integrated duplexer and 41ft mast, provides wide-range coverage for the Taskforce’s VHF portables.
To provide advanced Radio Interoperability, the NCTF-8 unit includes the ACU-2000 interoperability switch. The ACU-2000 is connected to Motorola XTL-5000 LMR radios allowing the operator to patch UHF, VHF, Simplex 800, and Statewide VIPER radio networks, depending on need. The ICS pCom 355 system also includes a SkyTerra MSAT G2 radio which may be used standalone or integrated to the ACU-2000. The MSAT G2ICS pCOM® 355 41ft mast provides L-Band satellite PTT and two-way voice capability.
NCTF-8 is comprised of members from the Raleigh, Cary, Durham, and Chapel Hill Fire Departments. NCTF-8 maintains a Memorandum of Agreement with the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management to provide statewide USAR response. Their mission is to respond to natural and man-made disasters on land and in water and provide search and rescue, medical support, damage assessment, and assist in the coordination of relief.
“We are very excited to have received the ICS pCom 355,” stated NCTF-8 Program Manager/TFL Battalion Chief Frank McLaurin. “This communications unit complements our existing cache of equipment and will facilitate and grow interoperability throughout the state of North Carolina. Having ICS as a partner on this program ensured that NCTF-8 is a leader in communications capability and can directly interface and be system-level compatible with the other state teams should the need arise.”
NCTF-8 procured the ICS pCom 355 through a US Department of Homeland Security grant. The 2007 Homeland Security Grant provides funding for the enhancement of communications and interoperability for public safety. The grant was awarded to the Raleigh Fire Department, who in turn purchased the unit on behalf of NCTF-8.
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