Public Safety Interoperability: Wireless Mesh Delivers
“This is a catastrophe of historic proportions for Minnesota,” explained Governor Tim Pawlenty on August 1, 2007, after a large section of the 35 W bridge collapsed at 6:05 PM, more than 100 feet above the Mississippi River. The bridge carried an average of about 140,000 vehicles a day and 114 vehicles were on it at the time of the collapse. 9-1-1 was inundated with about 500 hundred phone calls in the first hour, many from people directly involved in the incident. In the first two hours, 50 people were transported from the site by ambulance. Ultimately, the disaster would result in 13 deaths.
A collapsed structure necessitating both land and water rescue. A truck on fire. Hazardous materials. Triage and transport of patients off the bridge. A major traffic artery blocked. A major disaster on a federal highway crossing a state bridge over a waterway. The scale and impact of the emergency would soon be evident, as would the need for cooperation and communication among multiple jurisdictions and agencies.
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