John White joined the service as ICT Communications Manager to look after networking, telecoms and communications, including the mobile communications to the Incident Command Units (ICU). He heard about Talari through a conversation with the sales manager from systems integrator Teneo. He was curious to learn how Talari appliances work, as he could see an interesting opportunity to use them in the mobile Incident Command Units.
If there should be a major incident, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has two Incident Command Units, based at Basildon and Clacton, which can be sent to the location of the emergency to provide communications for the officers in charge to coordinate the rescue service. These vehicles are equipped with all the technology required to manage the communications for a major incident and as such are vital in providing a communications infrastructure with 100% uptime.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service uses a Vector Command Support System with a server in each Incident Command Unit linking to a server at headquarters. The two Incident Command Units each carried a 3G modem on board, plus a satellite modem and a WiFi connection, as well as the relay switches between these different networks. The 3G coverage had been patchy at best, so for most of the incidents where the Incident Command Units had been mobilized, there had been either no 3G connection at all, or only intermittent service. This meant that the Incident Command Units were usually relying on satellite connections, which are slower and very expensive.