West Midlands Fire Service Selects HF Equipment for Search and Rescue
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 | Comments

Barrett Communications provided portable HF radio communications equipment to the West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) for its specialist search-and-rescue team when responding to international emergencies.

The WMFS is the second-largest fire service within the United Kingdom and is responsible for the coordination of communications element of U.K. International Search and Rescue (UKISAR).

In larger emergencies, voice communications to and from outside the impact area is critical. In identifying the need to further strengthen communications with high frequency (HF) capability, WMFS contacted Barrett Communications. First responders to natural or man-made disasters often use HF radio communications because normal communications infrastructure has either been destroyed or disabled in the disaster. With the exception of the initial capital cost, HF systems are infrastructure independent and free to air with no ongoing call costs.

WMFS is part of the larger International Search and Rescue Team (ISAR), a group known for its global response to natural and man-made disasters. The group is often called upon by governments in extreme situations.

As part of its ongoing training, WMFS was recently involved in the Modex Exercise 2 in Denmark, where the scenario was a major earthquake with numerous powerful aftershocks that had devastated the region of Langvang and the busy town of Falck. The exercise took place during four days in below 0 degrees Celsius conditions. The Barrett Rapid Field Deployment System (RFDS) was deployed as part of the U.K. communications system and provided communication back to the response headquarters in Falck.

“The RFDS was deployed and operational within minutes, which is so critical in emergency situations like this, and provided reliable communications throughout the entire exercise,” said Mike Teale, WMFS communications engineer. “This additional capability of HF radio communications has strengthened the rescue service that WMFS provide.”

Would you like to comment on this story? Find our comments system below.

Post a comment
Name: *
Email: *
Title: *
Comment: *

On 4/19/17, Dronz Arigho said:
Glad to see that Barrett is flying the flag for WMFS.

Well done on securing that order.

I guess that's one of the many advantages of having a Barrett facility in the U.K.

On 4/19/17, Bob Sherwood said:
Well done that team.

Site Navigation