New Command Center vehicle arrives
New Command Vehicle
The truck is 29 feet long and 12'6" tall. It is a 2009 Chevy C550 4x4 truck custom-outfitted by Farber Specialty Vehicles out of Columbus, Ohio.
2 Command Centers
The new vehicle adds a second command center for the Sheriff's Office to use in case of emergencies in the county. The trailer in the background has been in use for approximately three years by the SCSO as a mobile command center.
The Command Center has a desk for two people to use computers and the radio equipment. Chairs are strapped down during travel.
The back room has chairs, a hide-away table, video screen on the wall, VCR, and room for storage.
The command center has a positionable satellite dish on the roof for. Communications include satellite, radio, cell, internet and TV reception. Loudspeakers allow people inside to make loud broadcast announcements to anyone outside. Powerful 500 watt outside lights provide night lighting.
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
September 1, 2009
For Search & Rescue and emergency response operations
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) received delivery of its new Command Center vehicle on Monday, August 31st. The custom vehicle is a self-contained, drivable emergency response unit. The vehicle was made to order for the Sheriff’s Department by Farber Specialty Vehicles out of Columbus, Ohio.
The first SCSO Emergency Management command vehicle was a donated Army surplus vehicle known as the "Green Frog." Later they converted an old ambulance from the ambulance service. Several years ago they were able to upgrade and add a custom-outfitted bumper-pull trailer that can be hauled to mobile command sites during emergency situations.
The new command truck is more compact and maneuverable than the command trailer. It is 16-feet long in the box and over 6-1/2 feet tall inside. The chassis is a 2009 Chevrolet C5500 4x4. Interior features include a command desk for computers, a small kitchen area, and a back room with seating, table, TV screen and VCR. Special compartments have been installed to house a generator, telephone/satellite/internet/radio equipment, and essential storage areas. The unit operates on gas, rather than diesel, which is less susceptible to cold weather troubles common in Wyoming. In a pinch, they can use gas from the command center to fuel up a snowmobile or ATV on search operations. Outside, the vehicle sports a satellite dish, loudspeaker/pager, powerful exterior lights, and stabilization jacks. The only inkling of a complaint came from the female users who noticed the vehicle lacked restroom facilities.
The new command vehicle was budgeted for by the Sublette County Commissioners in 2008. The Emergency Management Team of the Sheriff’s Department ordered it last fall. The price tag was a little under $172,000.
"For years we did things out of the front of our pick-up trucks with papers blowing everywhere," said Bob Hanson, SCSO Homeland Security/Emergency Management Coordinator/Patrol Sgt. "This is a lot better."
The command vehicles are heavily used year-round for emergency situations. More and more often, the SCSO finds themselves with their current equipment in use at the same time on separate emergency calls. Two years ago the Command Trailer was stationed for two weeks at the Horse Creek wildfire in the Wyoming Range. When the Rainbow Family held their 4th of July annual gathering in the Big Sandy area of the southern Wind River Mountain Range in 2008, bringing thousands of people into the remote Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Command Trailer was stationed nearby for two weeks.
"This will be a big help," said Sublette County Sheriff "Bardy" Bardin, noting they are getting more and more calls for service.
Tip Top Search and Rescue Administrator Jason Ray said, "We have 40 full-time volunteers for Search and Rescue." These volunteers go out on a moment’s notice responding to a variety of emergency situations across the county including fires, hazmat spills, gas-field incidents, backcountry searches, and other difficult rescue situations. "This vehicle has 4-wheel drive and can drive in, so we don’t have to hook onto a trailer."
The old green command vehicle will likely be donated to continue service in another Wyoming county that doesn’t have the energy tax revenue resources that Sublette County benefits from. The Sheriff’s Department has been committed to recycling their older equipment as they replace it and donating it to other Wyoming sheriff’s departments if they can use the equipment.
"We applaud the County Commissioners for their foresight to get us get this vehicle so we have the capability to do what we need to do with Search & Rescue, HazMat and fires.," Hanson said. "It will definitely benefit the public and help save lives."
Tip Top Search & Rescue
PO Box 400
Pinedale, WY 82941
Photos by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!