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Emergency services command vehicle equipment contract for Excelerate.

Excelerate Technology : 29 February, 2008  (Application Story)
Emergency response vehicles for hazardous incidents in the UK to be equipped with communications and video technology from Excelerate.
Excelerate Technology has won a major contract to provide the entire communication technology required for a new generation of Mobile Incident Response Vehicles (MIRV). This is part of a national multi million pound framework agreement awarded by the NHS for the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) initiative, which aims to provide ambulance service paramedics with the resources to treat patients in hazardous and/or potentially contaminated areas.

In partnership with coachbuilder WH Bence, Excelerate has been appointed technology supplier for the whole contract after successfully completing a pilot scheme with London Ambulance. The framework agreement makes it easier for local authorities as well as police, fire and ambulance services throughout England to buy products and solutions without going out to tender.

The first vehicles will be supplied to West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Merseyside NHS Ambulance Trusts. Each set will comprise three vehicles, one main incident response unit with sophisticated command and communications equipment plus two CBRN response vehicles carrying all the necessary specialist equipment.

Under this framework agreement, Excelerate will provide integration, training, support and management of the entire technology element of the project over the lifetime of the vehicles. This will include a comprehensive suite of cutting edge voice, data and video transmission technologies that can be fully deployed within four minutes of arriving at serious incidents such as CBRN and HAZMAT, as well as others requiring category 'A' response regardless of location.

According to David Savage, Chairman and CEO of Excelerate Technology: "The advanced technology being deployed will result in the most comprehensively equipped Mobile Incident Response, Command and Management vehicles ever commissioned. They provide the ability to manage incidents at the scene more effectively with instant access to experienced personnel situated at other locations throughout the world for back up and support."

Each command vehicle has been designed to provide the highest level of resilience and future proofing and will use mobile satellite technology to access broadband, enabling a wide range of data, voice and video applications to be run. The satellite network will be managed in real-time from Excelerate's Cardiff-based headquarters to ensure that sufficient bandwidth is available to meet specific requirements at all times. The vehicles can be connected using a fully meshed wireless network with rapidly deployable self-powered mesh nodes using hot swappable batteries that give up to eight hours of use.

Voice communications are provided in two ways. Firstly, RapidNet Private GSM can be generated by each command vehicle to maintain communications with field-based personnel at all times without requiring service from the main network providers. This will provide full telecoms capabilities in situations where either none exist or are unavailable and eliminate the reoccurrence of the communications problems experienced during the 7/7 incident as highlighted in the London Assembly Committee's report. Excelerate is also providing VoIP handsets on each vehicle that function as fully featured extensions of any NHS PBX, enabling seamless communications with HQ and other locations.

Each MIRV is equipped with dual function CCTV cameras giving normal and thermal operation with full PTZ. Additional bodyworn cameras can be used by field personnel to transmit high quality pictures from inside buildings, tunnels or other areas where there is no line of sight as it uses the latest COFDM transmission technology. Video images are recorded locally and streamed via satellite to fully managed servers enabling images to be viewed from any internet-enabled location around the world.
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