Intelsat, On Call Communications and AT&T Join Forces to Help Fire Ravaged Counties
Pembroke, Bermuda and Irvine California, 6 December 2007
Intelsat, Ltd., the world’s leading provider of commercial satellite services, and On Call Communications today announced that they have joined forces, and in coordination with AT&T, have donated desperately needed emergency communications for command operations and victim relief centers in fire-affected southern California communities. Within hours after Governor Schwarzenegger issued a disaster declaration the three companies swung into action, donating satellite terminals, satellite bandwidth, engineering personnel and logistical support. AT&T took the lead in contacting State and local governments to apprise them of the first response capabilities that were available to them.
“The quick response of On Call Communications and the ability to provide continuous 24-hour support was crucial in maintaining optimal communications for our recent Santiago Fire,” reported Scott Johnson, IT Analyst for Orange County Fire Authority who relied on the QuickSPOT terminals and Intelsat OnDemand bandwidth for fire mapping and logistical coordination.
On Call Communications and Intelsat prepared and installed all of the automated satellite based systems and optimized each of the terminals for the specific applications used by the authorities. On Call and Intelsat also donated all of the satellite bandwidth used for the operations.
The QuickSPOT automated satellite terminals deployed were able to establish communications within minutes of arrival. John Pingel, Group IT Manager for the County of San Diego said, “The onboard voice and data links were up within minutes after the wheels stopped rolling on the mobile QuickSPOT satellite units. From there, our technicians were quickly able to patch in connections to the local area network and phone systems to distribute communications throughout the facilities.” The systems provided voice (VoIP), Internet access, Wi-Fi, file transfers and video services in the San Diego suburbs of Fall Brook, El Cajon and Jamul where they supported Local Assistance Centers. A high school and a juvenile detention facility in the San Diego were also serviced.
“We were proud to assist our state and local governments; it’s the least we could do for those who give so unselfishly of themselves to keep our families and property safe. We have been doing this for a good many years all over the globe, but it takes on a whole new meaning when it’s in your own back yard” said Jim Gilbert, CEO of On Call Communications.
Intelsat CEO David McGlade commented, “The unfortunate events in California served as yet another example of the ability of satellite communications to rapidly establish critical communications links when ground infrastructure has been destroyed by natural or man-made disasters, or is inaccessible. We are proud to support the emergency teams in California during this time of urgent need, and stand ready to demonstrate for emergency response teams across the nation the value of including satellite-based communications in emergency preparedness plans.”