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Pictures Of Your Shack/Mobile Setup Here you can post pictures of your shack, mobile, or portable setup for everyone to be envious of. Don't forget to rate the threads of good setups.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 10-04-2009, 11:18 PM
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You would think they would at least have a van where rain wouldn't be a factor.
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Old 10-06-2009, 8:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WB4ULV View Post
You would think they would at least have a van where rain wouldn't be a factor.
"But it never rains in southern California . . . " It is a line from a early 70's song.

One of the pictures showed the rear of the vehicle with an Easy Up in a open house type setting. It is possible that each vehicle is equipped with one. Remember that the purpose of these vehicles is quick response and even with its disadvantages is useful until a larger unit arrives on scene, if needed. My experience working around a L.A. County Fire batt chief's vehicle does not include incidents such as flooding, mud slides, and structure fires with rainfall. I would imagine that they have equipment to handle it.

These smaller command units are usually used by the incident commander and one to two other people. On a much larger incident a full command post vehicle is needed as additional positions are added such as communications operators, a plans section with resource units leaders (they track all resources being used and those on order, etc.), and the remainder of the sections: logistics, finance, and operations. Each section is handled by a "chief." The command staff can be expanded to include incident information officers and they need such things as phone banks, access to media reports such as those carried on TV, and working space to write press releases.

ICS uses a modular structure and various components are added and subtracted based on needs as the incident changes. For relatively short duration and less complex incidents the IC may assume the role of the plans chief, or maybe the operations chief takes it. In such cases the logistics section does not need to be staffed as the IC or operations accomplishes that also. As an incident grows these positions are staffed and they accomplish all the tasks in those functions. If an incident grows beyond that then the sections start to staff the positions below the chief level. When the incident begins to wind down the reverse occurs.

I see this command vehicle being used in this modular concept for incidents of a smaller size and it could very well be replaced by a larger unit if the incident becomes more complex. It has more equipment than a batt or division chief's vehicle but uses the same concept. Having those on scene quickly makes a huge difference in the never ending challenge of "making order out of chaos."
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Old 10-09-2009, 4:30 PM
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Holly crap even our area of 200,000 has a motor home for such I bet that thing gets great mileage and is a blast to drive with all of that rear weight. Granted the Winni can't get to something as fast a that SUV but people don't have to stand outside. It also was very handy during the flooding we had here last year they were able to use the cities and the states to run dispatch for Cedar Rapids out of Marion a town a fraction the size. But it is cool don't get me wrong.
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Old 10-10-2009, 4:09 AM
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That thing is indeed quite a holler! I've seen one of it's cousins in person a few times here in the Sacramento and S.F. Bay regions. Quite the little speed devil too despite all that weight!

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-Frank C.
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Old 10-11-2009, 9:36 AM
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Are their any radios in the console?
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Old 10-11-2009, 9:47 AM
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Boy's and their toys!

I hope it's not raining hard when they have to deploy it! They should have opted for an extended van at the very least.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:00 AM
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Nice setup- very functional. However...

Why not mount all of that onto a small command trailer (such as the Reeves ICP seen here Reeves Incident Command Post Trailer | Mobile Command Center | Reeves ICP) that could be pulled by any vehicle to a scene and then left. Notice, this trailer also has a shelter and HVAC so the issues raised earlier in the thread about rain, snow etc are a non-issue.

I now have more than 10 years of experience operating a dedicated, custom built command vehicle. Here are two major problems I see with mounting these into Tahoes- first, that vehicle is now dedicated to this single mission instead of having a Tahoe on road patrol that could pick up the trailer if needed to deliver it to an incident. This means 9 more vehicles the agency has to maintain and operate. The second is that in 2-3 years when the original Tahoe starts to wear out and mileage gets up there they will have strip the unit out and replace it, while a trailer will last much longer.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAA951 View Post
Nice setup- very functional. However...

Why not mount all of that onto a small command trailer (such as the Reeves ICP seen here Reeves Incident Command Post Trailer | Mobile Command Center | Reeves ICP) that could be pulled by any vehicle to a scene and then left. Notice, this trailer also has a shelter and HVAC so the issues raised earlier in the thread about rain, snow etc are a non-issue.

I now have more than 10 years of experience operating a dedicated, custom built command vehicle. Here are two major problems I see with mounting these into Tahoes- first, that vehicle is now dedicated to this single mission instead of having a Tahoe on road patrol that could pick up the trailer if needed to deliver it to an incident. This means 9 more vehicles the agency has to maintain and operate. The second is that in 2-3 years when the original Tahoe starts to wear out and mileage gets up there they will have strip the unit out and replace it, while a trailer will last much longer.

Good points! Not to mention the dedicated command vehicle might not start! Then there's the matter of taking it in for service, with all that equipment in the back.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:23 PM
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Default why install to rear?

Why do these small SUV type command vehicles always have their equipment facing to the rear. do they ever operate these during inclimate weather? almost everyone one I have seen have the operators position facing the outside. ours are always built with a small operator position in the back with a small "bass boat" type chair to sit at. I could never understand the reasoning for setting it up to the rear.
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Old 10-22-2009, 4:32 PM
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I think the theory behind the vehicle is fantastic. However, the implementation is lackluster at best. Our county department will only use trunk-lip mount antennas on our patrol cars because drilling a hole or two in a crown vic reduces the value. Who would want these Tahoe's when it is retired and the interior and exterior look like swiss cheese?

Not only that, but could you imagine having an electrical problem to deal with? It would take weeks to track down the source of a bad wire or to replace any single component that went bad.

And did anyone mention the countless hours of training required to effectively use even half of the stuff they piled in that rig?

I would also vote for a trailer setup instead of inside a vehicle. I suppose the only real value of having it inside the Tahoe is that everything appears to be running off of the alternator(s) as opposed to a trailer needing a generator. Ive had my fair share of experience with generators on trailers or RV's that are rarely used and they typically aren't maintained properly or the gas/diesel has gone bad.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:13 PM
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Wow, lots of people picking imaginary nits here.

The vehicles work as-designed, for the missions they were designed for. Their existence doesn't negate the existence of larger vehicles (or some of your beloved trailers) to be used for other operations. The vehicles were designed to get to a scene quickly and provide an incident commander with command, control, communications & intelligence as well as provide communications interoperability.
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Old 10-23-2009, 5:54 AM
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This project has "consultant" written all over it! Either that or it is the result of a board meeting or committee of non-LEO types and obviously I was not on that committee!

As far as a maneuverable vehicle that can get to the scene quickly, can you say ambulance? All of this stuff could easily be built into an ambulance chassis with plenty of room to spare. There just seems to be so many more advantages to an enclosed "command center" than having it out in the open. In addition to protection from the elements, it also gets them out of the noise and other environmental issues. Anyone who has tried to use a laptop in direct sunlight already knows that it is pretty much useless.

I do not see any task lighting (although it may be there somewhere) and I definitely do not see any work surfaces. What are they supposed to do with the papers coming off of the printer/fax machine and how are they going to keep them from blowing away?

For your common every day motor vehicle accident, this setup would probably be OK, but if it involved trucks carrying hazardous materials or a railroad derailment, it is probably not the best idea to have the station personnel out in the open.

There is also the issue of providing security for the folks operating the station by not having them out in the open. There will most certainly be sensitive or "need to know" information going through this system and it just seems like an enclosed vehicle has so many more advantages in terms of safeguarding that.

From the pictures of this unit in its deployed state, there is a rat's nest of wires coming out the back of the vehicle and this has "safety hazard" written all over it. Someone could easily trip over the wires which could result in injury to the person and more importantly, render a crucial piece of gear inoperable.

As far as resale value, government agencies (or any business that buys vehicles or makes major capital expenditures) do not buy these things with resale in mind. Items like this have a useful lifespan over which time it is amortized until it essentially has a value of $0.00 (as far as the accountants are concerned). Anything they get at auction is gravy in terms of income. And don't worry, someone will buy these after their useful life is over!

We could all nit pick this thing to death, but they own them now. The real test will be if they replace these SUV's with new ones once they have served their useful life or if they come up with something better. My bet is they won't buy SUV's for this purpose next time.
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Last edited by scottaschultz; 10-23-2009 at 6:11 AM..
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Old 10-23-2009, 7:36 AM
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The CHP has its own vehicle shop where the custom work for each vehicle is done. Equipment for all CHP vehicles is installed in this shop, including mobile radios, consoles, lights, sirens, and laptop computer setups. As far as I know this work is not outsourced as the large numbers of vehicles create an economy of scale for doing the work internally. This work is outstanding in quality. The people who do this work participate in the designs. Many of the larger counties also do this type of work internally.

The CHP has thousands of vehicles, how many thousands I cannot say right now. An additional 6 vehicles to maintain is very small in comparison. The huge area and population served results in a very large number of incidents for all agencies, increasing the economy of scale mentioned above. One of each eight people in the United States lives in California and the population of southern California, at 16 million people, exceeds the population of a number of states.

The design of this vehicles like this is not something entirely new. It has evolved over time using the experience of past versions and versions built by many other law enforcement, disaster (such as Cal EMA - California Emergency Management Agency), EMS, and fire agencies.

Many of the posts here include comments about rain and most of them from people who live in areas with much higher rainfall than California. It rains primarily from November through March and most of it results from a limited number of heavy storms, rather than a little bit each day. On average 70% of the days in winter are sunny. In the record precip winter of 1982-1983 60% of the days were sunny. A very different climate than those in the east, south, and midwest.

The average battalion/division chief vehicle in California is an SUV with custom setups accessed from the tailgate with radios, computers, map and forms drawers, and resource tracking displays. For extended incidents there are various types of command vehicles such as motor homes, trailers, and truck mounted units. The equipment is mounted in the rear because it is difficult to work sitting in the cab. Mounting the equipment for a different working position would require extensive vehicle body modifications. I've been on dozens of incidents where tailgate working position vehicles are employed and they work very well. There are slide out drawers and writing surfaces used to secure papers and such.

As for resale value, emergency vehicles are designed, built, and equipped for certain tasks and the value is in the capability of those vehicles to complete those tasks, which far exceeds the future resale price. During my time with the U.S. Forest Service the pickups assigned to me were installed with multiple tool boxes, tool racks, bumper mounted vices, generators, lights, desk consoles, radios, electrical outlets (12 and 120 volt), along with storage for the tools and materials I used as a firefighter, resource unit leader, situation unit leader, crew boss, PIO, and accident investigator. When I turned a vehicle in for replacement there were dozens of holes in the bed, fenders, roof, and cab. Road and utility maintenance vehicles, as well as fire vehicles were more heavily modified than mine. If we made the resale value of the vehicle a priority we would decrease the efficiencies we gained each day as a result of the modifications. We would be using dollars to chase nickels.

There is a lot of second guessing and arm chair quarterbacking going on here based primarily on the pictures shown in this thread. Talented and emergency savvy people design and use these vehicles and discounting this seems a bit arrogant to me.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 10-23-2009, 8:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exsmokey View Post
Many of the posts here include comments about rain and most of them from people who live in areas with much higher rainfall than California. It rains primarily from November through March and most of it results from a limited number of heavy storms, rather than a little bit each day. On average 70% of the days in winter are sunny. The record precip winter of 1982-1983 included 60% sunny days.
You are absolutely right about second guessing the CHP in their decision making process for these vehicles. As far as I know, no one here was consulted.

OTOH, when it comes to inclement weather, the fact that it rains so infrequently is not necessarily an advantage when it comes to accidents. In Missouri (and I am sure everywhere else), the number of accidents after the first rain after a long dry spell goes up exponentially. In addition to hydroplaning, the water on oily road surfaces can be extremely hazardous. Add this to the fact that drivers become complacent when they are used to dry road conditions and do not adjust their driving habits in the rain all add up to a recipe for an accident waiting to happen. Now add California to the mix where it rains much less frequently, common sense tells me that the chances of accidents go up even more than it does in "flyover" country.

We'll see what happens when it comes time to replace them.
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Old 10-23-2009, 9:18 AM
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People have different perspectives of climate depending on where they live and a perspective of weather in the east (of the 100th meridian) does not serve well when evaluating a tailgate working position in California. The rain did not follow the plow! 100th meridian? From my perspective the eastern U.S. starts at the eastern boundary of Denver International Airport!

California has a lot of accidents following rainfall. In southern California you would think there was ice on the freeways when it rains for the first time after an extended dry period. However, what the percentage of those accidents is vs. those in other conditions is something I don't know. Most of them do not result in incidents requiring an incident command post.

I should have used the number 9, instead of 6, when comparing the number of these incident command vehicles to the overall fleet size. That fleet size includes about 3,000 cars, pickups, SUV's, incident command vehicles, boats, motorcycles, helicopters, and fixed wing aircraft. So 9 is a relatively small number. In 2007 this included over 2,000 Ford Interceptors.

Someone mentioned these vehicles needing replacement in a few years. The CHP replaces vehicles at about 100,000 to 120,000 miles. For the limited use that these incident command vehicles will get I would imagine it will take many more years to reach those mileages. The technology inside the vehicle probably has a useful life much less than the vehicle it is mounted in.

The point that the CHP is not the only agency to use the tailgate working position for incident command vehicles should should be repeated. There are several thousand of them around the state.

People should follow the links to the left of the pictures in the original post. The need and design of the vehicle is discussed there and addresses many of the comments on this thread.
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