Verizon will host state and local first responders, police and SWAT teams this week to test some bleeding-edge technology that could soon be on the front lines.
Operation Convergent Response will showcase dozens of technology elements, including delivery drones, gunshot detectors, a mobile surgical center and IoT sensors. The event will be at the Guardian Centers in Perry, Ga., Nov. 5 through 8.
It will be the second annual event and features several simulated scenarios, including a hurricane, nuclear detonation, active shooter/hostage situation, and utilizes some of the new and featured technology, like a robotic snake that can climb a wall.
“It moves like a snake across the floor and climbs a steel beam,” said Rob LeGrande, a Verizon consultant. “It’s a robotic drone that can climb a wall and you wouldn’t even know it’s there.”
Some of the scenarios that will take place are:
The subway terror attack is a simulation of a man who releases a chemical into the air and tries to detonate an explosive in his vest. As the bomb goes off, so does the power, and people in the area are victims of chemical dispersal. As people try to evacuate, their path to safety is blocked by a destroyed rail car.
Some of the technology used will be software used to locate victims and responders, the robotic snake, inflatable tents for mobile decontamination, video surveillance and others.
“You need to measure and optimize the network and the best way to do that is through simulated scenarios,” LeGrande said. “Public safety demands that you exercise your solution and optimize communications.”
Though the technology on display during these exercises is an exciting and important piece, getting first responders together and simulating disasters provides another important element.
“It’s figuring out how are we going to communicate with each other and what we’re going to do,” said Verizon consultant Ken Morckel. “We have local first responders volunteering their time and they’re going to get some benefit out of it.”