WALLINGFORD, Conn.--(Mutualink, Inc., specializing in advanced interoperable communications solutions for public safety, emergency management, critical infrastructure and defense agencies, has released data compiled following Hurricane Sandy that assesses the effectiveness of the Interoperable Response and Preparedness Platform (IRAPP) that was used by government agencies and private enterprises throughout the storm.)--
“When the effectiveness of the IRAPP is combined with the power of FirstNet, the nation will have largely put the issue of interoperable communications behind it.”
The IRAPP is a secure, multimedia interoperable communications sharing platform for first responders and Critical Infrastructure and Key Resource (CIKR) organizations. The IRAPP enables an unprecedented level of cross agency collaboration by leveraging both existing and new (including FirstNet) communications media and network infrastructure onto an easy to use and affordable everything-over-IP (EOIP) virtual network. The platform’s broad and diverse participation is made possible by an architecture that places the communication resources of participating organizations onto a secure, sovereign and federated virtual network that allows the owners of those resources to maintain absolute control over when and how they will be used.
Mutualink began installing IRAPP endpoints in 2007, and today the IRAPP comprises more than 1,000 media infrastructure connections from coast to coast.
IRAPP Resilient During Hurricane Sandy
New Jersey has a large concentration of IRAPP participants, including state and town Office of Emergency Management (OEMs), police departments (state and local), fire departments, hospitals, shopping malls, sporting arenas and Atlantic City casinos.
Following are findings from a survey conducted by Mutualink following the storm:
- Hospitals utilized the IRAPP to coordinate with public safety agencies during evacuations, as water levels rose and proved a threat to their facilities. Hospitals kept informed in real time regarding the operations at other hospitals, and shared information with the New Jersey Regional Operations and Intelligence Center.
- Entities throughout the region were able to utilize video feeds from Atlantic City casinos to follow the surge of water as it came up the coast.
- In Hudson County, power outages and limited availability of phones made the IRAPP a powerful means of communication between county OEMs and county hospitals.
- The East Rutherford Fire Department was able to coordinate between Emergency Operations Center, Mobile Command Unit and Public Safety Access Point seamlessly to coordinate resource requests and important data, while reserving radio frequencies for emergency traffic.
- At least one agency was able to view real-time video from first responders in the field and from outside agencies in regards to flooding, which helped provide situational awareness of what was happening throughout the region.
- The highest levels of communications resource sharing took place between agencies and entities with robust power and connectivity resiliency plans. Those agencies with multiple redundant systems never lost the ability to communicate over the IRAPP to share voice, video and data.
FirstNet and IRAPP
The First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) is responsible for establishing a single nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network for first responders. Mutualink can accelerate adoption and operational use of FirstNet by providing real-time multimedia collaboration across public safety LTE networks. Mutualink’s inclusive approach goes one step further by connecting other key entities, such as hospitals, transit authorities, schools and shopping malls, into emergency situations as needed.
“The momentum for a national secure multimedia communication resource sharing capability is growing throughout the country,” said Colin McWay, President of Mutualink. “When the effectiveness of the IRAPP is combined with the power of FirstNet, the nation will have largely put the issue of interoperable communications behind it.”
Mutualink, Inc. has developed an interoperable communications platform that enables nationwide multimedia sharing of radio, voice, text, video, data files and telephone communications in a secure environment. Mutualink’s system is currently deployed by public and private entities worldwide, including homeland security and defense installations, NATO Special Operations Forces, police and fire departments, transit authorities, hospitals, shopping malls, casinos, and more. Mutualink is a privately-held company headquartered in Wallingford, Conn., with R&D facilities in Westford, Mass. and Mayagüez, PR.