30 Nov 2007
RUMFORD, Maine - Local fire departments in Maine have acquired new technology, built by BAE Systems in New Hampshire, that enables first responders to communicate more effectively using their existing radios and frequencies. BAE Systems' First InterComm(TM) system links all of the radios at an incident scene without the need for costly towers or other infrastructure.
The vehicle-mounted system provides communications interoperability when multiple agencies arrive at a fire or incident scene.
The Wilsons Mills Fire Department, recipient of the $800,000 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant, has completed the initial installations of First InterComm equipment on emergency-response vehicles in Rumford. The remaining units awarded on the grant will be deployed at multiple agencies in Maine through the first quarter of 2008.
"This ability will contribute to greater firefighter safety and a more efficient execution of their mission," said Mike Greene, BAE Systems' director of Homeland Security Solutions. "Its interoperability capability even supports communication with National Guard and federal agencies equipment."
In 2004, the 9/11 Commission report documented the difficulties first responders faced due to a lack of communications interoperability at the World Trade Center. That same year, BAE Systems established a homeland security initiative to address those needs. First InterComm is among several capabilities BAE Systems now offers to help first responders communicate more effectively.