New Aerial Speaker System Helps Locate Missing Girl

April 6, 2010

CONCORD, Calif., April 6 /PRNewswire/ — Increasing threats of catastrophic tsunami disasters are propelling emergency responders to reevaluate their current methods of communications delivery to those living in affected areas. The Airborne Public Address System offers groundbreaking new technology that replaces the standard siren warning system with an intelligible voice-projected message system.

The Airborne Public Address System (APAS) was unveiled as a tsunami communications tool on March 24 in Eureka, CA, during a training exercise as part of Tsunami Awareness Week, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and California’s Emergency Management Agency. The event, which included Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino Counties, is believed by experts to be the largest tsunami preparedness drill ever held in the United States.

Developed as a search and rescue tool, APAS delivers recognizable voice projection over a radius of 1 1/2 to 3 miles. The tsunami exercise successfully tested the system by flying a Cessna 182 aircraft, delivering a message to residents who called in if they heard and understood the announcement. More than 400 people responded. The exercise showed how APAS delivers tsunami warnings to people in remote locations that may not live close enough to hear the standard alarm sirens.

“I must admit being somewhat skeptical at first that a message could be clearly and audibly conveyed above engine noise from an airplane,” says Dr. James D. Goltz, Director of the California Emergency Management Agency’s Earthquake and Tsunami Program. “But we were quickly convinced that [APAS] not only worked very well but it has the potential to be a major warning asset in an actual tsunami emergency.”

The aerial speaker system was developed as a joint venture between Guardians From Above of Brookings, OR, and Power Sonix of Martinsburg, WV. Guardians From Above President Scott Bakker heads the nonprofit company that researches and develops new tools for Homeland Security. Guardians currently have an APAS on loan to the Oregon Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, testing lifesaving capabilities.

Scott Bakker successfully used the system last month, mounted onto an Oregon Civil Air Patrol aircraft to locate and rescue Zoey, a 4-year-old girl from Brookings who had gone missing. Bakker recorded a message from Zoey’s grandmother and flew over the area to give the missing girl instructions and to provide comfort. The stunning rescue occurred only hours before hypothermia would have killed her.

“The terrain was dense and dogs and helicopters couldn’t find Zoey,” says Scott Bakker, also a Civil Air Patrol Commander. “Hearing her grandmother’s actual voice rejuvenated the girl. It gave her the inner strength to hold on and call out so someone could find her. No other system has this capability.”

Captain Bakker has written a proposal to have APAS installed in Civil Air Patrol aircraft around the nation.

Command and Control Software

The NOAA tsunami exercise also featured new software by Emergency Services Interactive Systems (ESIS): the Coordinated NIMS Incident Planner, or CNIP. The software eliminates paperwork burdens associated with developing an Incident Action Plan (IAP) for large-scale incidents, such as tsunami disasters. CNIP connects the numerous IAP forms, allowing data to be entered one time, placing it onto every correct form and in the correct location. The completed forms can be sent to all agencies involved with an emergency, without use of the Internet, often unavailable in the aftermath of a disaster.

For More Information:

Guardians From Above: Contact Scott Bakker at guardiansfromabove@charter.net or (541) 661-4570.

Coordinated NIMS Incident Planner: Contact Dan Linehan at DLinehan@ESIS-Systems.com, (650) 291-4101, or visit http://www.ESIS-Systems.com.

This press release was issued through eReleases(R). For more information, visit eReleases Press Release Distribution at http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Emergency Services Interactive Systems

Source: newswire

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