Clallam commissioners to upgrade incident command vehicle
By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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The $382,785 cost would be covered by a Port Security grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
If approved, the vehicle would be equipped with a portable Wi-Fi network and solar and wind generators to stay connected in the event of a natural disaster or other catastrophe.
“Should we lose telephone, Internet, power, whatever, we’ll be able to communicate,” Clallam County Emergency Management Program Coordinator Penny Linterman told commissioners Monday.
“It gives us full back-up capability of a means of communication for all stakeholders to use.
“This is not just for the county,” she added.
“This is for all the police departments, all the fire departments, all the tribes. Anyone can use it. That’s the basis of the grant.”
The new equipment would be compatible with technology that the county purchased earlier this year through a Stonegarden grant.
Federal Stonegarden grants are awarded to counties on international borders to enhance the capability of state, local and tribal agencies to prevent, deter, respond to and recover from catastrophic and or terrorist events.
No commissioner objected to the agreement with the Marine Exchange of Puget Sound, which is the fiduciary agent of FEMA.
No match would be required from the county.
“It’s a real short time frame,” Linterman said.
“We’ve got until May 31, 2014, to get it done. It involves two commercial-grade satellites, one that will go on the roof of the courthouse, one that will go on the roof of the incident command vehicle.”
The equipment would come with five years of maintenance.
Commissioner Mike Doherty asked whether it would make sense to sell the existing incident command vehicle and buy a new one.
Sheriff Bill Benedict said it would be “horrendously expensive” to reinstall the communications equipment.
Benedict estimated that the existing command vehicle could be used for another 10 years.
“It’s low mileage,” Linterman added. “It’s been well maintained. And new vehicles are about half a million.”
Eventually, the county will install communications gear in a small fleet of communications trailers.
“The idea is to have a comms tailer in Forks, one here and one in Sequim, all with similar types of equipment because moving stuff back and forth in a disaster is a real problem,” Linterman said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: August 19. 2013 5:32PM