Partners Drive Emergency Response Fleet to Ohio
The Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association presented a vehicle equipped with the latest in communication and crime-fighting technology to the Ross County Sheriffs Office. The vehicle will be used by law enforcement to service a 13-county region in southern Ohio in the even to a major weather disaster, terrorist attack, hostage or hazmat situation, or another type of large-scale emergency.
Unit Onethe first of 11 vehicles to be stationed at strategic locations across Ohiowas paid for by federal homeland security funding. Currently, first responders from different agencies have a difficult time communicating with each other during emergencies because different departments are on separate radio systems.
The specially-equipped vehicles will vastly improve the ability of police, fire, and other first responders to communicate during a large-scale emergency, says Ken Morckel, Director of Ohio Department of Public Safety. We will be able to provide immediate assistance and support to our first responders during those first critical hours of a major incident. The Ohio Department of Public Safety is proud to be partnering with the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association in this effort that will greatly benefit law enforcement and ultimately, the citizens of Ohio.
The ten other counties where vehicles will be stationed are Geauga, Hancock, Columbiana, Montgomery, Athens, Ashland, Lucas, Mercer, Guernsey, and Delaware.
The vehicles have communication gear compatible with all radio frequencies, cellular and land phones, weather monitoring equipment, and Internet access. Officials will be able to tape and store video feeds from TV cameras on the roof. The vehicle also will have diesel generators for emergency power.
The Ohio Emergency Management Agency and the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association are managing the program involving the communication vehicles. This program and another separate effort being led by the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police to electronically share information and data among law enforcement agencies make up the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program.