Future First Responders and FirstNet: Response to a multiple-vehicle accident (MVA) scenario
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Scenario: The multiple-vehicle accident
A citizen in a car hurriedly calls 911 from her cell phone and reports that there is a crash involving several cars and a truck. The caller describes the rough location with no cross street, just an estimate of distance from one location. The caller then hangs up before the caller ID and GPS location can be determined.
911 personnel dispatch police and fire to the scene, indicating that a possible multiple-vehicle accident (MVA) was reported with the approximate location. In this situation, EMS is alerted separately, because it is not integrated with the fire department in this jurisdiction.
Fire personnel receive a page and text message that a caller has reported an MVA with unknown injuries. The approximate location is also provided in the message sent to the fire personnel.
The Critical Information Display (CID) is activated in the Home Monitor station and a ticket, tear or run sheet, is generated both physically and electronically, with the latter displayed on all the monitors in the fire station.
The fire chief arrives at the scene within one minute of being dispatched and remains in his vehicle. He presses the icon on his Incident Command System (ICS) display, which informs dispatch that he has arrived at the scene. A live video feed from the chief’s vehicle is commenced and relayed over the LTE nework to his Home Monitor station and dispatch as the chief arrives.
Still in the vehicle, the chief does a quick assessment and notices that there is an overturned propane (LP) truck and what appears to be two additional vehicles involved. Using his ICS LTE tablet, the chief taps an icon selecting the desired preplan. The preplan selected automatically informs his Home Monitor station and orders rescue and fire apparatus, in addition to requesting a tanker to scene.
The chief grabs his ICS LTE tablet in addition to his two-way radio, exits his vehicle on foot, accesses the situation and notes:
– Overturned propane truck
– Two passenger vehicles badly damaged, one of which is flipped and is in a ditch
– Injuries and entrapment evident
– One victim is visible on road—apparently ejected from one of the vehicles—and is not moving
– Electrical lines are down, because one of the vehicles hit the utility pole; electrical wires on are on the vehicle
– Another victim is lying next to the passenger vehicle with the power lines
– Civilians are present at the scene
The chief orders the civilians to get back and not attempt to rescue anyone.
Using the mutual-aid (MA) icon on the tablet, the chief selects the MA preplan. The MA preplan selected automatically informs dispatch to request EMS and indicates that this is an MVA alarm 2, requesting mutual aid to the scene of the incident.
At the fire station, fire personnel enter the apparatus and the CID system is activated. As fire personnel enter the apparatus and take seat assignments, their accountability tags identify who is on the apparatus. The chauffer for each apparatus updates the CID screen, where members are identified to specific seat assignments. The information is then relayed to the chief, dispatch and the Home Monitor.
A heads-up display shows the chauffer for each apparatus the tactical data needed to reach the scene, including road conditions and any known hazards. Suggested ingress and egress paths are provided. Weather conditions are also displayed, including wind direction and velocity.
Returning to his car, the chief opens the incident-command system (ICS) application (Figure 2) on his tablet, which displays the arriving assets from the fire company, with their locations on a map and their estimated times of arrival to the scene, as well as the information about the skill sets (trained) and rank of those responding
Chief sends a notification to the Home Monitor to respond to the incident with rescue and fire apparatus, indicating first-due and second-due apparatus as called for in the preplan. Dispatch, the chief and the Home Monitor are automatically informed when each apparatus leaves the fire station to respond.
Figure 2: ICS Application Suite. Click the image to enlarge.
The chief opens the back door of his vehicle and, based on the signal level detected for the macro LTE public-safety network, the MicroLTE network—a vehicle-mounted deployable—is enabled to provide local autonomous communication, Figure 3.
The MicroLTE network is run on a rugged laptop and has a 5W base station with it. Depending on the local RF conditions, the MicroLTE network can operate as either a client, relay cell or self-contained LTE network functioning as a vehicle mounted deployable.
The MicroLTE network operates as a client, if the coverage from the fixed Public Safety LTE network is good. In the client mode, the MicroLTE network will use an LTE air card to connect to the Public Safety LTE network and not operate as a LTE cell site or network.
However, if coverage is limited or there is a need to enhance coverage and capacity, then the MicroLTE network can work as a relay cell site to the macro Public Safety LTE network. In relay mode, the MicroLTE network will act as a remote eNodeB to enhance coverage and capacity.
If needed, the MicroLTE network can also operate as a self-contained LTE network, with its own evolved packet core (EPC) and single 5W eNodeB when the Public Safety LTE network is unavailable. In this configuration, the MicroLTE network can use a commercial network for its backhaul. But, when operating in a standalone configuration, the MicroLTE network can also work without any backhaul and function as a localized LTE network providing communications within the incident area itself.
Figure 3: MicroLTE System. Click the image to enlarge.