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Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
October 23, 2007

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Linda Nasta
Thomas Slater

DHSS unveils mobile health command vehicle






TRENTON -  The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) today  unveiled a unique mobile command center capable of connecting communication equipment assigned to different frequencies, capturing situational information during an incident and relaying updates to the Department’s Health Command Center in Trenton during a public health emergency response.


DHSS has fortified a 2007 Ford Excursion with both satellite and wireless technology, allowing on-scene responders to communicate with anyone anywhere by phone, radio, e-mail or fax.  With the Emergency Communications Vehicle (ECV) data and photos can be sent from the scene to the command post, and it is currently the only emergency response vehicle capable of streaming video. 


“It’s been widely publicized that during Hurricane Katrina and September 11, 2001 attacks,  emergency responders were unable to communicate, said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D. “ Limitations posed by distinct radio frequencies and divergent equipment – and the added loss of phone service – led to communication failures and devastating consequences. The EVC enhances our existing communication systems and can send information to our health command center even if other systems have failed.”


DHSS purchased the vehicle last year and converted it into a response vehicle. The ECV is self-contained, with sufficient electrical power and equipment to operate regardless of local conditions. The purchase and construction of  the vehicle was funded through state preparedness monies.


The ECV will support the New Jersey EMS Task force, which is charged with coordinating the state’s EMS assets during large-scale emergencies, but Senior Assistant Commissioner David Gruber said the ECV’s real-time video streaming is unique in New Jersey.


“This vehicle can connect the entire spectrum of response partners statewide – including fire, police, emergency management and EMS units – throughout the state,” Gruber said.




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