West Midlands Ambulance Service has replaced three of its current vehicles with a new 7.5-tonne Isuzu, which will act as a bespoke incident command vehicle.
The vehicles provides a communications hub and base for WMAS commanders at the scene of an incident, 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 West Midlands region.
Tony Page, general manager 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 will also provide us with a regional command training suite.”
The WMAS command vehicle is based on an Isuzu Forward 7.5-tonne N75.190 rigid chassis, which has been supplied by local West Midlands Isuzu Truck dealer, Aquila Truck Centre.
Providing the role previously carried out by three separate WMAS vehicles, 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, manufactured by Excelerate.
The optical infra-red camera enables real-time video sharing over high signal loss areas, such as mountainous or built-up locations.
Mounted on a telescopic five-metre mast, this extends coverage within the incident ground and allows surveillance and transmission of high-quality images in real time over distances in excess of one kilometre.
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.