Tait Radio Communications shared lessons learned by first responders during the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand, on Feb. 25.
James Kyd, Tait Radio's chief marketing officer, spoke with first responders attending IWCE in Las Vegas. Although the Tait Christchurch facilities were not significantly impacted, it did give Tait some direct first-hand experience of how emergency services respond to a significant incident. Tait was even able to lend a hand to support the first responders with additional equipment and services, according to the company.
"Our customers are public safety agencies, utilities and urban transport providers who plan for and get through incidents such as this," according to James. "Whether it's power line workers restoring electricity in the Midwest after record-snowfall or whether it's EMS, Fire and Police needing to collaborate after an earthquake in Christchurch, these customers are unlike other organizations in their response and communications needs."
Tait customers such as New Zealand Police, New Zealand Fire, Land Search and Rescue and St. John Ambulance Service were praised by the international community on their handling of the earthquake that affected certain parts of Christchurch.
Here are some examples of how the solutions assisted with the recent rescue and recovery mission in Christchurch:
- The TaitNet trunked P25 system used by the police delivered reliable communications. Talk Groups were quickly reassigned - a benefit of the trunked P25 system and effective network management.
- TB9100 base stations performed well despite the power outages and spikes in traffic.
- Interoperability with visiting agencies such as New South Wales Police was readily accomplished. Their Motorola P25 radios worked exceptionally well with the Police's Tait network and Tait P25 subscriber units.
- Fast programming of different vendor's subscriber units with Tait Key Fill Devices also increased flexibility.
- Transportable chargers and spare batteries kept rescue workers on long shifts powered up and ready to communicate.
- Customised and durable analogue TP8100 portables used by NZ and by the Chinese Rescue teams provided accurate communications during the dangerous rescue operations.
- Tait TM8250 vehicle radios in several Mobile Command Centers helped the response co-ordination and situation management.
- Tait's Christchurch facility includes short-turn manufacturing capability. This in-house resource allowed Tait to deliver hundreds of additional subscriber units within hours.
- Tait staff were out hand-delivering extra equipment, programming radios and setting up temporary base stations to boost coverage for a variety of agencies.