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August 26, 2009
The Memphis/Shelby County, Tennessee, Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) encompasses a six-county region that includes parts of three states that neighbor the metropolitan Memphis vicinity. The area is one of several urban areas throughout the United States designated by the Department of Homeland Security as at high-risk for natural or man-made emergency events such as flooding, tornadoes, pandemic flu outbreaks and terrorists attacks.
Communication among various emergency responders from across the county is crucial to protecting the public in the case of an emergency. To prepare for these situations, the Memphis/Shelby County UASI needed to find a communication solution that public officials from multiple offices around the county could rely upon, even if terrestrial service was damaged or congested as a result of the emergency. And, like so many local governments currently facing budget crunches, they had very little funding available to meet this need.
The Memphis/Shelby County planners found their solution with SkyTerra’s push-to-talk satellite phones. The organization is in the process of deploying more than 250 of SkyTerra’s MSAT-G2 units and satellite airtime to emergency response offices across the region.
In addressing the funding issue, SkyTerra and its local service provider, Central Communications, worked with the Shelby County Office of Preparedness to develop the required
documentation to obtain a grant from the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI).
“This is an excellent illustration where the public and private sectors have come together and worked in unison to develop a solution for a public safety requirement,” said Bob Nations, Jr., director, Shelby County Office of Preparedness HLS/EMA. “This is an example that other businesses and agencies around the nation can model to craft solutions for their local security and public service needs.”
Operating on the SkyTerra network, these talk groups allow one-to-one push-to-talk “dispatch style” and one-to-many “broadcast style” communications and are used for daily operations as well as in times of emergency.
The talk groups provide a means of immediate communication between multiple federal, state and local public safety officials throughout the region during an emergency.
SkyTerra satellites deliver mobile wireless voice and data communications services to federal, state and local public safety organizations and enterprise customers throughout the United States and Canada providing communications interoperability, business security, fleet management and asset tracking.
Read more about:Agents
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