Squad 16 is headquartered in Lake County, Illinois (which is located north of Chicago) and provides mobile emergency communications and disaster relief assistance and education to the public solely in conjunction with federal, state, and local government public safety and emergency management authorities. It is fully funded, and it neither accepts any donations from the public, nor does it charge any fees for the services it provides. Deployments throughout the United States are primarily made pursuant to requests under formal Memorandums of Understanding with applicable governmental agencies. For Overseas Deployments see page 10 of Memo below.
The primary vehicle currently deployed by Squad 16 was built by the Alexis Fire Equipment Company and utilizes an International Trucks Severe Service 7400 4X4 Crew Cab with a DT570 diesel engine and a drive train rated at 80,000 pounds. It has a 30kW hydraulic generator and a redundant 12kW diesel generator, which both can operate while driving, which permits Comms Ops while underway approximately 2 miles after initial start-up. It produces over 15,000 watts of scene lighting, and with 185 gallons of diesel fuel, it can operate on station for over 16 days without refueling. The vehicle’s specialized design and wide front axle permit it to have a turning radius smaller than its overall length of 29’ 4”. Because it has 10,000+ pounds of equipment mounted under the top of its double-reinforced chassis frame rails, Squad 16 has a relatively low center of gravity of less than 40% of its height (the NFPA maximum allowable is 80%), and it also exceeded the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) horizontal tilt test of 26.5 degrees.
It has a full array of electrical equipment in its 24+ feet of vertical rack space including: a multi-path telecom IP system with a 1.2 meter VSAT, a 25 watt BUC, 2 Iridiums, 2 Telulars, 1 router, 2 switches, 8 wall phones, 6 wireless phones, 3 servers, 1 spectrum analyzer, and 3 double conversion UPS units (Uninterrupted Power Supplies). Radio operations and inter-operability are provided by 2 redundant systems (Raytheon ACU-2000 IP, and ClearCom), 40+ radios, 2 repeaters, an 80 position patch panel, and 70+ redundant antennas mounted on the 11' roof, the 30' mast, and the 50' mast. The primary scene light is a 20’ 6000 watt light tower mounted on the crew cab roof. Stability and leveling for SAT acquisitions are provided by 4 hydraulic stabilization jacks. Three air conditioning units with a total of 40,000+ BTUs provide cooling for the stainless steel walk-in Communications Center, which is accessed via an aft exterior door, and can also serve as an emergency cooling center for anyone suffering from heat stress such as civilians, firefighters, rescue teams, and other public safety personnel.
In addition to its communications functions, at the request of the Incident Commander, Squad 16 can act as a support vehicle for all-hazards incidents, including serving under the direction of teams conducting Search and Rescue Operations, and Firefighting. Specialized equipment mounted on top of a 50’ mast includes a rescue searchlight, which projects usable light approximately 1.5 miles downrange, mounted alongside two long-range day/night (0.07 lux) cameras, which have a detection range of 4 miles, recognition at 2 miles, and identification at 1 mile. For maximizing search coverage areas for victims, the searchlight can also be operated at vehicle speeds up to 10 mph with the mast deployed to a height of 15 feet (subject to local area bridges and roadway conditions). In addition to white visible light, illumination can be provided via an automatic filter wheel in multiple frequencies and colors, including AMBER (550 nanometers) to cut through smoke, RED (680 nanometers) for night vision, and INFRARED (880 nanometers) for those incidents where ground personnel are wearing night vision goggles or a helicopter flight crew requests an infrared illuminated LZ.
At the request of a Search and Rescue Team and under their direction, Squad 16 can also be an asset that they might elect to use as an additional resource for their rescue operations. For example, Squad 16 has a 2,000 pound 3/4" steel plate front bumper assembly that has two receivers for a 10,000 pound (1,000 pound workable load) 120 VAC electric rope rescue AMKUS winch. In addition, the front bumper assembly has a 16,500 pound 12 VDC electric steel cable WARN winch, and two primary tow hooks rated at 30,000 pounds each. Rigging includes four adjustable poles that permit an angle of attack up to approximately 12’ above the ground. Tow chains, webbing, extrication tools, and saws can also be utilized with the two winches described above to clear fallen trees or debris that block the roadway. As requested, a live video feed from the forward-facing camera to a secure website can provide a real-time view of both the roadway conditions and the rate of progress for the convoy. Once on station, mast-mounted cameras on both the 30’ and 50’ masts can provide an overview of the scene and also a view of down-range operations.
If you would like to download the entire ten page Memorandum on Squad 16's Specifications, Systems and Operations in PDF format (less than 200 KB), PLEASE CLICK HERE.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader
USADRC www.usadrc.us and Squad 16 thank all of its suppliers, and, in particular, the men and women at Alexis Fire Equipment Company and International Trucks. If you would like to contact Squad 16, please email us.