2Punxsutawney, PA   (February 2, 2011)- The Pennsylvania Northwest Central Emergency Response Group (NWCERG) deployed for support of the 2011 Groundhogs Day festival in Punxsutawney, PA.  The taskforce relies in-part on two Command and two Communications trailers designed and integrated by PEAKE to support the event.

The custom-designed trailers were deployed on-site to provide logistics & communications support to the taskforce at this year’s celebration.  Two command trailers provide the NWCERG with a conference room area, workstations, shelter, radio interoperability, and self-sufficient power generation.  The trailers feature advanced IP-based communications and PEAKE Tactical-Voice™ VoIP service, providing the Taskforce with communication throughout the festival.

The two communications trailers provide the NWCERG with a turn-key advanced IP network and Tactical-IP™ satellite connectivity. The trailers inter-connect giving the group access to critical communications.  The trailer also features an extensive video solution including a mast-mounted Pelco PTZ camera providing situational awareness and surveillance throughout Groundhogs Day Festival.  Additional capability integrated into the system is a tactical video solution, comprised of tripod-based cameras which can be placed around the event site. Several camera nodes were positioned around the event area, feeding video back to the NWCERG command trailers, allowing for surveillance and situational awareness around Gobbler’s Knob.

Punxsutawney Phil is the famous groundhog with the “mythical ability” of forecasting either an early spring or lengthier winter.  This year’s Groundhog’s Day celebration was Punxsutawney Phil’s 125th year of predicting the length of winter.  Thousands of fans came to witness the early morning Punxsutawney Phil prediction.  Groundhog’s Day annually attracts up to 30,000 visitors to the Pennsylvania Wilds region.

The command and communication trailers were funded using the Department of Homeland Security’s Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) Grant Program.  According to DHS documentation this investment will “improve communications at large-scale incidents and events; provide capabilities to restore voice and data communications if the fixed primary assets are destroyed; provide relay capabilities to bring voice and data communications into remote sections of the region as needed; and enhance the region’s ability to pass data and voice over the PA-STARNet system during major incidents”.

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