COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – After spending Thursday at disaster city on Texas A&M’s campus first responders and technology leaders are hoping to figure out solutions for communication issues that arise during emergency response situations. “Sometimes when there’s a major response, you have multiple agencies responding, but their radio systems for example don’t communicate or they don’t have a common situational awareness,” says Joan Quintana with the Internet 2 Technology Activation Center.
First responders were brought in to test out “Mission Critical Push To Talk” which is an advanced radio system that can be used like a smartphone. Clint Arnett with T.E.E.X says the use of the new technology was critical to be used during a simulated disaster. “Today’s an opportunity to use these in a very realistic scenario, where they can make sure they can do what they need to do and to make sure we’re augmenting the capability of our responders,” says Arnett
The weather on Thursday presented a different set of problems for one group. Robin Murphy with Texas A&M brought out drones to test connectivity with “Mission Critical Push To Talk” but couldn’t get them in the air due to the strong winds “Weather is always a problem, weather comes depending where you’re located, so this was very realistic for us with the heavy winds,” says Murphy.
The staff at disaster city has done situations testing out new technology a few times this year, and every time they feel like there is something positive to take away from the experience. They feel like they are getting closer to finding a permanent solution.
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