Testing Connectivity: Rhode Island Emergency Management Exercise, TF Green International Airport

Testing Connectivity: Rhode Island Emergency Management Exercise, TF Green International Airport


My name is Dave Schnell, I’m the preparedness
branch chief at the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. My name is Chris McGrath I am the operations support branch chief
with the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency and I oversee our
communications division and all our Special Operations vehicles. Today was a tri-annual exercise for the TF Green International Airport and what we were
practicing was a response to what is called an Alert 3, which is a actual
crash of an aircraft. Care team was attempting to communicate with the
Emergency Operations Center, but they were actually quite a distance apart and
traditional analog radio systems were not able to provide them communications,
so by using devices on the Band 14 network, we were able to connect those
two important functions, so they could exchange information real-time during the exercise. Communications unfortunately is one of
the failures, common failures, in most drills and exercises, so therefore
having broadband introduced into the realm of drills and exercises,
it makes it easier for first responders to be able to view real data at real
time and also assist with the actual response to the victims. Communications in such a large-scale incident are so vital. We anticipate that any type of an incident here in the airport area would
quickly overwhelm any of our commercial networks, so by having FirstNet both in
our command posts and also deployed with first responders and would assist them
to ensure they have reliable communications to manage that incident.

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