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LA City Fires Mobile Command Post

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Uplink

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Here's a nice install. The inside of Los Angeles City Fires mobile command post. On one wall there is a huge flat-panel touch screen with Google Earth running on it.

:)
 
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tonsoffun

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LOL got to love it! watching the soccer game. Love the truck though and the equipment.
Nice Pics!
Take care
 

OpSec

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That is a nice command rig! Usable work space and good equipment layout.
 

Signal3and2

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what, a mobile command rig???? a Doughnut? A futbol game? google earth on a huge touch-sensitive flat screen?
 

Go-24

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Lordy, thats a lot of money for bragging rights; I guess as a non-fire fighter I dont understand the reason for having this apparatus. I mean heck what were they doing before they got this that made them think they needed this?
 

daleduke17

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It's for Unified Command for large scale incidents.

Before different agencies had this, it was not impossible, but, more difficult to have a command area at, say, a town struck by a tornado. This way, EMA/ESDA can have a base right near where the incident is.

Yes, I know I used tornado and EMA, but, you can substitute earthquake and LA Fire Department in their place.
 

kf4lne

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Go-24 said:
Lordy, thats a lot of money for bragging rights; I guess as a non-fire fighter I dont understand the reason for having this apparatus. I mean heck what were they doing before they got this that made them think they needed this?
They were being laughed at by the VFD down the street who had one already ;)
 

safetyobc

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Go-24 said:
Lordy, thats a lot of money for bragging rights; I guess as a non-fire fighter I dont understand the reason for having this apparatus. I mean heck what were they doing before they got this that made them think they needed this?
Before they had powered pumping trucks, they had hand pumped horse drawn trucks. Before that, buckets.

Before they had air tanks, they breathed smoke.

Before turnouts, they got burned.

Before they had radios, they yelled at each other, used hand signals, etc.

Before you had digital scanners you had analog. Before trunking, you had non trunking.

There is always going to be something that makes the job or what you are doing easier. This helps them coordinate large scale incidents rather than having several dept. heads scattered around a few square miles, they can all be centrally located. The equipment inside including the TV can be used for a number of things, even keeping up with local news reports, etc. Or watching soccer when the scene is slow :D

I think they are very useful in large cities. In a town the size of mine (pop. 6500) they aren't as necessary. But for large populations I can see the need.
 

kf4lne

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Before they had that sweet truck they were watching soccer on a CRT at the fire hall. This way they can respond to anything and still see the game ;)

Unit 3:Unit 3 to Command
Command:Command, go ahead...
unit 3:We need more air tanks down here and send a new ladder truck, Godzilla stepped on ours.
Command:10-4
Unit 3:BTW, whats the score?
 
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Uplink

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kf4lne said:
Before they had that sweet truck they were watching soccer on a CRT at the fire hall. This way they can respond to anything and still see the game ;)

Unit 3:Unit 3 to Command
Command:Command, go ahead...
unit 3:We need more air tanks down here and send a new ladder truck, Godzilla stepped on ours.
Command:10-4
Unit 3:BTW, whats the score?

These were taken during a display of public safety equipment open to the public, these guys were not on an incident. Just throwing that out there so nobody gets any wrong ideas.


:D
 

kf4lne

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Uplink said:
These were taken during a display of public safety equipment open to the public, these guys were not on an incident. Just throwing that out there so nobody gets any wrong ideas.


:D
Since there are pictures taken of the inside and outside of the truck on a clear sunny day and there is no sign at all of the horror this truck was designed to get under control then its safe to assume these guys are pharting ariund at some civic event or something like that. i still want that truck, that thing would be AWESOME for the Sept VHF QSO Party!

I wonder what the radio labeled "OCD" for?
 

SCPD

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Go-24 said:
Lordy, thats a lot of money for bragging rights; I guess as a non-fire fighter I dont understand the reason for having this apparatus. I mean heck what were they doing before they got this that made them think they needed this?
If you are a non-firefighter there is much about fire suppression you would not understand the need for. At large incidents the command post and incident base can be very large and include many things the public would not understand. When you have been a firefighter on large fires working a wide variety of ICS (Incident Command System) positions you understand the need for every person, every van and trailer, and each piece of equipment. Most county and municipal command vans have other equipment besides radios in them such as satellite phones, copy machines, and fax machines. Orders for logistical supplies (tools, water, food, parts, maps, etc.), resources [crews, engines, dozers, shower trailers, caterers, helicopters, FLIR flights (forward looking infared radar), and other overhead and command personnel] are made using the fax and by computer if access to the Internet and email are available. Also resources are tracked using computers.

The TV's are often monitored by communications personnel with the sound off and when they see something that might have to do with the incident they are working they record it. Later a IIO (incident information officer or sometimes called a PIO or public information officer) may review the news segments recorded and call in with additional information or corrections to the TV stations.

Additionally there are working stations for other planning section personnel such as the situation unit leader who keeps track of the size and location of the incident and adjacent areas that will be affected by or are affecting the incident. The situation unit leader also prepares maps and other displays needed for the operations plan, incident information, and at the incident command post. The resource unit leader is in plans also and tracks the resources on the incident and those requested by the operations section in order to handle the incident. The resource unit leader also prepares the operations plan for each shift. The planning function needs counter space to accomplish there tasks. Then there are administrative tasks such as timekeeping and a financial unit that pays vendors such as the private dozers and water tenders.

When an incident becomes larger and more complex all of these functions cannot be carried out in a command vehicle like the one shown. At that point additional office type trailers are brought in and the command van is used strictly for incident dispatch. Each function then needs individual trailers to work out of with planning, logistics, finance, command, public info, supply, each needing working space. If trailers are not available tents are set up depending on the location. If it is hot air conditioned trailers, rather than a large dark green canvas tent (that seems to be what is usually available) are preferred as people don't work very well at tasks requiring concentration when they are in a work space that is 90-110 degrees.

During my career with the Forest Service I had 6 positions on my incident qualifications card (commonly called the "red card" due to its color). They were situation unit leader, resource unit leader, incident information officer, crew boss, strike team leader - crew, and security officer. I worked very small incidents by myself all the way up to a 1/2 million acre fire in Yellowstone in 1988 in eight different states on a total of 108 fires. I got around and saw how the incident command system works, the facilities, people, and equipment needed to manage a large incident. I've been on initial attack on a small incident and watch it grow from a couple of crews, 3-4 engines, and a helicopter, and grow into a major incident with a incident base of 3,000 people all within 2-3 days. It is quite a sight to see.

If you haven't walked in the shoes of a firefighter who has gone through similar experiences like mine, seeing pictures of a couple of guys sitting and talking, with a TV tuned to a sports event, while eating breakfast can be taken out of context. These people may have worked several days on long shifts, 12-24 hours, in the midst of trying to make order out of chaos. When the incident begins to wind down people begin to have time to get out their cameras and take some pictures that they could not during the tense and busy times. This is very typical for the incident photos I've looked at over the years.

Make sure that when you see photos like the one in this thread to keep in mind "the big picture" and not take things out of context. Agencies usually don't have adequate resources to handle the full extend of the situations they face and don't have the time or money to obtain equipment such as this command trailer unless the need for it is demonstrated over and over again.
 

SCPD

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As for the second part of the comment regarding what did "they" do before they had equipment like this. Keep in mind that incidents of all types (fire, floods, medical, hurricanes, tornadoes, hazmat) have become more complex than they were in the past. Wildland fire is more dangerous and complex than it has ever been with the increase in urban/wildland interface areas (more houses and communities built in wildland settings - areas with minimal development and natural vegetation fuels) and the buildup of fuel due to the interruption of the natural fire cycle in wildland vegetation after 100 years of misguided total fire suppression by man. Urban settings are far more complex as building densities are greater. The different types of building materials and hazardous substances have made structural fire suppression far more difficult. Taller buildings, out of the reach of ladder trucks, have made fire fighting very different, requiring far more complex training, equipment, and command methods. As for hazmat that should not need explanation.

The comment seems to be similar to one made by my grandfather, who when looking at the number of different batteries in a large auto parts store remarked "what do they need all these batteries for, when I owned my first car it did not have a battery, we just got out and cranked the engine to start it!"

By the way, is that a horse trailer in the view in the shots with the windows? Sure looks like it to me.
 
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