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Critical communications: radio to the rescue

If a major industrial accident occurs, coordinating the emergency response is a top priority. With Thales mobile connectivity solutions, high data rate 4G networks can be quickly deployed on scene so that response units and their systems can work together, instantly and efficiently.

There was an enormous explosion at lunchtime today in the north of the city, followed seconds later by a shock wave that blew out everything in its path. Sadiq just had time to take cover under his desk before the windows and part of the front of the police station disintegrated all around him. As the dust settles, he makes sure he is in one piece, crawls out of the rubble and checks on his co-workers. He grabs his phone but can't get a signal. So he rushes down the stairs to the underground car park, jumps in his patrol car and speeds off.

A satellite connection for uninterrupted Wi-Fi

Visibly shaken, people in the street are desperately trying their mobile phones but to no avail. Sadiq thanks his lucky stars — his vehicle is equipped with a new roof unit housing the Eiji connectivity solution from Thales. He activates the satellite backup function and bingo! Four reassuring bars on the screen of his smartphone confirm he has Wi-Fi. Dodging the oncoming flow of victims fleeing the scene of the disaster, he drives north, soon to be joined by an armada of fire engines, ambulances, police cars and other emergency vehicles. His 360° camera is recording everything along the way. Sadiq knows that the command post is analysing all his data to help to optimise the rescue and recovery operations.

A private 4G cell to cover the scene

The industrial park on the edge of the city has been devastated. Several warehouses have collapsed and at the epicentre of the explosion there is a crater at least 50 metres wide. The command post informs him that a vehicle is en route to set up a private 4G network, and instructs him to take charge of securing the surrounding area. Sadiq puts in a group call to the other connected vehicles already on the scene. Using his geolocation app, he sends them GPS coordinates for the positions that optimise the security perimeter. In and around each vehicle, the Wi-Fi network keeps the channels of communication open.

The van equipped with the Nexium Wireless solution arrives at the scene, and ten minutes later a tactical cell is in place: a private 4G network covering the entire area is going to make it much easier to coordinate the response and keep everybody mobile. The tactical cell is also connected to the command post via the satellite link established by an Eiji box. As the stream of emergency responders and firefighters flows in, each vehicle is quickly authorised to use the dedicated 4G network.

Professional apps that work brilliantly… when they're connected!

Tom is one of the first firefighters to arrive. He heads to a nearby warehouse building that has been levelled by the explosion. He can hear a victim crying out for help from beneath the rubble. With the push-to-talk function on his ruggedised smartphone, he initiates a group call to transmit his GPS coordinates. Reinforcements arrive almost immediately. A paramedic starts an IV, two firefighters bring in lifting equipment to free the victim, who is trapped under a section of roofing. As they get him out, images of his injuries are sent to the triage doctor who blocks a place in the operating room at the nearest hospital.

Just then, Tom receives images on his smartphone taken by a drone that has been deployed at the site. It looks like three people are trapped in their car, which has been overturned by the shock wave. Another rescue operation begins.

After the first few minute of confusion, an efficient organisation starts to emerge from the chaos. Emergency responders are kept informed in real time and each one knows what they have to do. Thanks to resilient, mobile, high data rate communications networks that are quick to deploy and easy to operate, connected emergency response units can optimise their time and resources by constantly and collectively building up a detailed operational picture of all the forces in the field.

Useful links

Eiji by Thales
The secure mobile solution from Thales. Permanent connectivity and multi-operator access for maximum efficiency on critical missions.

LTE by Thales
LTE by Thales is today’s answer to real-time multimedia group communications and information sharing between users in the field and in control rooms.