July, 2012― Zetron, a leading provider of communications control technology, has been at the centre of operations to fight a wildfire and evacuate residents from a remote area of Tarragona in north eastern Spain.
Following a drought and unusually high temperatures, the fire quickly took hold in the rural area south of the town of Rasquera. Fanned by high winds, it was only extinguished after three days of round the clock activity by 60 fire fighting and civil defence teams supported by aircraft dropping water on the flames. In that time, the blaze scorched more than 3,000 hectares of scrubland and pine forest and forced 52 people from their homes.
It was the latest deployment for the state of Cataluña Mobile Civil Emergency Response Centre, a specially equipped vehicle whose technology includes Zetron DCS-5020 Digital Consoles. The Zetron system enables operators to manage up to 30 different radio and telephone channels through a touch-screen display. During the emergency, operators used the Zetron system to coordinate the safe movement of people while continuing to direct the fire fighters and aircraft as they tackled the fire. Twenty one of the evacuees were moved to a sports hall before being allowed to return to their homes once the blaze had been damped down.
The Cataluña emergency response vehicle is one of 12 across Spain equipped with the Zetron communications control systems, all under a multi-million Euro contract won by Kenwood Iberica. Each vehicle is on permanent standby, ready to play a crucial role should any of the country's regional governments have to respond to a civil emergency or disaster of any type.
Says Rosa Mata i Frances, chief of logistic and territorial services for Cataluña, "The solution configured by Kenwood in our emergency vehicle has proved itself a number of times, the latest incident being the Rasquera wildfire. Multiple agencies were involved, but the Zetron control consoles enabled our operators to act as communications coordinators, ensuring that ground and air resources were not wasted, and that we achieved the swift and efficient removal of residents to a place of safety. In our debrief following the fire, our operators again commented on how the Zetron system is intuitive and easy to use, enabling them to maintain clear and concise communications even when under pressure."
Kenwood's role as lead contractor in the Spanish civil emergency vehicles programme was to provide the radio and control technology for each vehicle and to project manage the fit-outs. "Many of the regions specified very similar communications links, typically VHF private mobile radio, coupled with GSM and wireline telephony," says Ramon Anguera, commercial director, Kenwood Iberica. "Cataluña's vehicle is the most complex with five DCS-5020s, handling a mix of marine, satellite, TETRA and HF radio, as well as VHF analogue and mobile and fixed telephony.
"Across the entire fleet of 12 vehicles we installed 50 DSC-5020 consoles, and the feedback we've been getting from the civil defence operators has been very positive. In particular they like the simple and very clear way in which the Zetron console system presents information to them. Under the pressure of dealing efficiently with an emergency, it's one less thing for them to worry about."
Zetron's DCS-5020 Digital Console is deployed widely throughout the world in public safety, transportation and utilities control rooms. As the Spanish deployments show, it is also at-home in mobile applications. It enables small to medium sized operations control rooms to combine telephony with both digital and analogue radio control, supporting combinations of up to 30 resources including up to 16 screen-based operator consoles. Distributed processing gives the DCS-5020 flexibility, scalability and robustness, delivering the high degree of resilience required for mission-critical 24/7 applications.
For over 30 years, Zetron has provided mission-critical communications solutions for customers in public safety, transportation, utilities, manufacturing, healthcare and business. With offices in the U.S.A., UK, Australia and numerous field locations, Zetron supports a worldwide network of resellers, system integrators and distributors. This gives Zetron a global reach as well as a local presence in the regions it serves. Zetron is a wholly owned subsidiary of JVC Kenwood Corporation.
For further editorial information:
Alan Pinnegar, VP and general manager - EMEA
T: +44 1256 884961