TECO has added serious horsepower to its crisis response plans.
With its 35-foot mobile command response vehicle, the company now has a command center it can relocate as an emergency dictates. The vehicle features four workstations and conference room for up to nine people where team members can brief response-focused personnel and work with community leaders and emergency officials. A telescoping mast can raise a camera 56 feet up to zoom in on trouble spots from a safe distance. With LED lights on the inside and floodlights, spotlights and under-body ground lights outside, the truck also has an external display screen to communicate efficiently with team leaders and crews.
And it’s all set for action in time for the start of storm season on June 1.
“The command vehicle is ready to roll at a moment’s notice when needed,” said David Ware, manager of TECO’s Fleet Services department. “It’s an important operational asset and a significant upgrade to our fleet.”
David Sweat, director of Electric Delivery Support Services, agreed.
“The vehicle will make it significantly more effective and easier to direct and coordinate our efforts, at specific incident sites, or in moving from neighborhood to neighborhood as restoration progresses in a post-storm or post-gas outage scenario,” Sweat said. “And it will be incredibly useful for working with mutual assistance and external crews from outside the area, when we are in a larger-scale or out-of-state mutual-assistance situations.”
Rick Wall, director of Gas Operations, added, “The addition of this mobile command unit puts TECO up-front with its emergency response related capabilities, and on pace with the governmental expectations of utilities today. More importantly, it supports the company’s safety and reliability priorities.”
When not in emergency use, plans call for the vehicle to be available for other key community or business-related events that promote TECO Energy and its operations.
“It’s an important part of our emergency response capabilities and equipment going forward,” Wall said. “Of course, we hope we won’t have to use it, but since emergency situations are eventually inevitable, the mobile command response vehicle is a big benefit to the community.”