Mobile Communication Vehicle
The St. Croix County Emergency Support Services Department is responsible for countywide emergency public-safety communications and emergency management services. These services are provided both at a fixed location in Hudson, as well as through the use of a mobile public-safety communications/command vehicle (PDF). In 1983, St. Croix County converted a used hospital laundry delivery van into its first mobile multi-use, public-safety vehicle (known internally as “MC1”) equipped with multiple radios and telephone systems. Over the years, this van was utilized many times for on-scene communications and command in and out of the county in support of Law Enforcement, Fire, and Emergency Medical Service missions. At the time, St. Croix County had the only mobile communications (MC) vehicle in Western Wisconsin.
Most notably, MC1 was requested by the State of Wisconsin Office of Emergency Management to help with communications during the Native American spear fishing seasons in northern Wisconsin in the late 1980s. It was also utilized in Somerset in 1986 for a massive waste tire fire involving over a million tires that burned for weeks. The communications van was on site and operational for days as federal, state and local agencies worked to contain and extinguish the fire.
Newest Vehicle Benefits
In 1999, a 30-foot Winnebago “motor home” type vehicle was purchased by the county to replace the then 23-year-old communications van. This new vehicle (also designated as “MC1”) was designed for on-scene communications and support. For example, agencies utilizing portable radios with low power, who in the past were unable to communicate with the county Dispatch center in Hudson, could communicate with MC1 on the scene. MC1 allowed county officials to bring communications to the scene in a mobile vehicle that has capabilities of over 2,500 radio frequencies, telephone systems, fax, internet Wi-Fi, writing surfaces, bathroom facilities, kitchen facilities, and fresh water, as well as a secure and climate-controlled environment for public-safety command staff.
In the past, various music concerts occurred in Somerset where the attendees to these events numbered at times up to 30,000 people. The communications vehicle responded to these concerts and various other incidents with law enforcement to render assistance with communications and/or support. MC1 was utilized in 2005, as a communications/command post in Hammond after a tornado struck the Village. In 2007, MC1 was operational after a wind storm struck the City of New Richmond and surrounding areas causing considerable damage. In 2009, MC1 was operational for a North Hudson warehouse fire, where approximately 50 different fire departments along with various other agencies from both Wisconsin and Minnesota responded to this multi-hour fire. In 2014, MC1 responded to a multi-alarm fire at a Glenwood City nursing home that involved numerous regional fire departments to remove patients and extinguish the blaze. To this day, MC1 plays a vital support role to law enforcement during incidents when the Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is called out and for numerous other agencies involved in major fires, searches, and other public-safety incidents.