BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. — Saratoga County officials recently unveiled a Mobile Command Vehicle (MCV) that will enhance the county’s emergency response efforts.
The MCV will provide first responders a unified incident command space that features state-of-the-art technology that will allow for more effective and efficient coordination of response efforts in the field.
“During an emergency response incident, having effective, efficient command and communications capabilities is critical for public safety and successful response efforts,” Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo said in a news release from the county. “This new Mobile Command Vehicle will provide us the flexibility to bring the full capabilities of the Sheriff’s Office anywhere in the County, allowing us to engage in operations that might otherwise be impossible.
“I thank the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors and Assemblywoman (Carrie) Woerner for their continued support of our public safety efforts.”
The MCV will serve as an on-scene command post, allowing for surveillance, communications support and mobile dispatching during incidents requiring long-term deployment of emergency resources. These may include natural or man-made disasters, missing persons searches, hazmat responses and similar incidents.
The vehicle can also be used for special security events, emergency service exercises, and community outreach events.
The vehicle can be deployed anywhere in the county and is equipped with everything emergency management staff need to do their jobs effectively from the field.
“My colleagues and I on the Board of Supervisors proudly support the Sheriff’s Office acquisition of this Mobile Command Vehicle, which will provide emergency management staff and deputies a stable, self-contained command center anywhere in the County our residents may need them,” Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Theodore T. Kusnierz, Jr. said in the release. “I extend our gratitude to Assemblymember Carrie Woerner for facilitating the grant that made (the) purchase of this vehicle possible.”
The MCV’s High Power User Equipment (HPUE) provides a range of features that staff can use to increase communications coverage, improve data speed and enhance security during an emergency. These features are especially beneficial when in rural areas or during large-scale events where there is a high volume of people using cell phones, when transferring or receiving large amounts of data or files and for protecting sensitive information.
Additional MVC features include:
• Radio with the ability to talk on marine, aircraft, on primary and backup talk groups, and on national inter-op channels
• Three computer positions outfitted with video conferencing and access to computer-aided dispatch
• Weather station to provide real-time monitoring of events
• Capabilities to extend WiFi and cellular networks from all of the major providers
• Ability to collect and share real-time video and photograph information from a scene
• Mast-mounted camera allowing for situational awareness
• Primary generator power, which runs vehicle and ancillary support equipment in support of long-duration events
• Mobile phone stations that allow for dedicated command post lines
• Community access television
The MCV was paid for by a $250,000 grant facilitated by Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake). Saratoga County was provided a State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM) grant from the NYS Dormitory Authority for the specific purpose in purchasing a new Mobile Command Vehicle. In 2021, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to purchase this 2022 Mercedes Mobile Command Vehicle for $241,815.
The remainder of the grant was used to outfit the MCV to make it fully operational
“Our Emergency Services and First Responders are a critical resource to the people of Saratoga County,” Woerner said in the release. “I am pleased to have been able to support their efforts by securing state funding for a new Mobile Command Vehicle.”