WEST MIDLANDS GEARS UP FOR NEW AMBULANCE

With the arrival of its latest command unit, West Midlands Ambulance Service has been able to replace three of its current vehicles with this new bespoke Isuzu 7.5 tonne incident command vehicle, incorporating the latest technology to deal with major and prolonged incidents.

The state-of-the-art Isuzu provides a communications hub and base for WMAS commanders at the ground scene, for the duration of an incident, acting as a ‘mobile mini headquarters’. It is planned to send the command vehicle to support air, rail and multi-vehicle incidents, or more prolonged incidents, such as flooding, within the region.

Tony Page, general manager of fleet services at WMAS, said the unit will enable a tactical command post to be deployed at the incident ground, housing operators and commanders, whilst also accommodating multi-agency responses, where required.

The Isuzu 7.5 tonne rigid truck features a custom manufactured body with slide-out side pods, which house a conference/briefing room facility, together with seating for up to nine people. This area is also equipped with a conference table, briefing screens, video and phone conferencing units and eight operational laptop positions. A separate operational area houses two workstations with fixed PCs and peripherals, as well as a 46” interactive touchscreen that is to be used for team briefings.

Externally, the command vehicle is equipped with a ‘Sherpa’ automatic pole-climbing camera delivery system; the optical infra-red camera enables real-time video sharing over high signal loss areas, such as mountainous or built-up locations.

This vehicle is equipped with an integrated on-board video server that supports the streaming of video content back to WMAS HQ, and other authorised locations, as well as allowing simultaneous displaying, recording, reviewing and exporting of images by operational staff during incident, without any loss of recording capability.