KANATA, Ontario –(Business Wire)– July 27, 2005 — Mesh Network Provided High-Speed Wireless Communications to Three Fire Command Locations and over 800 Firefighters During Second Largest Wildfire in Arizona History
Emergency crews in Arizona tapped the power of wide-area wireless mesh networking earlier this month to help fight the second largest wildfire in Arizona’s history. More than 800 firefighters and three command centers mobilized to fight the 250,000 acre fire. The emergency teams maintained constant communication over a BelAir Networks broadband wireless infrastructure supplied by NAS wireless.
Sparked by a flash of lightning, the Cave Creek, Arizona, fire burst into flames and into the history books with a wildfire that stretched over a wide area from Cave Creek to Black Canyon City. To contain the fire and reduce damage to the environment, firefighters needed to maintain constant communication between themselves and their command centers. NAS, one of the premiere wireless wide-area network (WAN) and local area network (LAN) integrators in the country, was called on to create a temporary wireless network. The network was built with wireless networking products from BelAir Networks, the only company that provides a comprehensive solution for scalable wide-area wireless broadband.
“In every fire, instant communications, from the top rung of the fire fighting operations to the fireline, is vital,” stated Barbara Duffy, CEO of Support Vehicles. “The incredible professionalism and speed with which NAS Wireless and BelAir Networks worked to deploy this critical communications network was impressive. I worked with them to define the priorities for the network and they ran with it. Their ability to work in an integrated manner with the team took a load off my mind and allowed me to concentrate on my responsibilities as the crash rescue engine boss.”
Deployed in less than 24 hours, the temporary Cave Creek network was built with BelAir200 wireless, multi-service switch routers and BelAir100 wireless multi-service nodes. Technical crews from NAS and BelAir worked with local emergency crews to design and install a network that provided high speed internet access to all levels of the fire fighting operation including logistics, communications and air operations.
The massive Cave Creek fire was managed from three command locations which were completely supported by the BelAir/NAS wireless mesh network. A four-radio BelAir200 system was installed on the roof of a support vehicle stationed at the Falcon Field airport near Mesa, Arizona, to provide fire managers with a satellite uplink to the internet. A dual-radio BelAir100 node was mounted at the Cave Creek airport–a private airfield–to provide a DSL connection to the internet for 120 firefighters. The wireless mesh network was completed by a BelAir200 providing access and backhaul and a BelAir100 that provided Internet and Intranet access to press and firefighting professionals monitoring the fire from the Incidence Command Post (ICP) at the Sonora Desert middle school, which was the headquarters for the entire Cave Creek firefighting operation.
“Wildfires move fast and we knew it was critical to have a reliable wireless network deployed at Cave Creek as soon as possible to help the firefighters,” said Jim Bradfield, CEO of NAS Wireless. “We knew the powerful wireless solutions provided by BelAir Networks were the right solution. The BelAir100s and 200s can be deployed immediately in any kind of outdoor environment and can withstand the elements while delivering rock solid performance.”
“We were pleased to be able to help the Cave Creek firefighters with a fast and reliable wireless network,” stated Phil Belanger, Vice-President of Marketing, BelAir Networks. “We have a responsibility to the communities in which we work and we were proud to work with NAS Wireless to support the firefighters.”
During the week long operation, the BelAir wireless network supported over 90 simultaneous users and delivered consistent broadband local communication and internet access. The team members used the network to exchange critical files used to manage the firefighting operation, communicate with each other, and with their families. Crew chiefs were also able to use the network to maintain administration functions including payroll.
The BelAir Networks Family of Products
BelAir Networks currently markets three wireless networking products; the single radio BelAir 50c wireless mesh cluster node, the dual-radio BelAir100 wireless multi-service node and the four-radio BelAir200 wireless multi-service switch router.
All BelAir networks are centrally managed and monitored by the BelAir BelView NMS, a comprehensive software package that allows network operators to easily configure, monitor and manage a complete network built with any combination of BelAir infrastructure products. The BelAir50c, the BelAir100, the BelAir200 and the BelAir BelView Network Management System (NMS) combine to form the most comprehensive product family in the industry.
BelAir’s products are focused on wide-area Wi-Fi today, but the unique multi-radio wireless backhaul mesh architecture can also be applied to other wireless technologies such as WiMAX and cellular.
About NAS Wireless
NAS Wireless is one of the premiere wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) integrators in the country. NAS provides complete site surveys, network designs, equipment sales, installation, training and follow-up maintenance for wireless data networks. NAS specializes in developing wireless networks for Law Enforcement, Government, Education, and Commercial applications. Headquartered in Dublin, CA, NAS has been providing wireless solutions worldwide since 1995.
About BelAir Networks
BelAir Networks is the first company to offer scalable, wide-area wireless broadband solutions with the highest quality for data, voice and video. BelAir’s wireless networking solutions are built on the only multi-service architecture for wide-area wireless broadband deployments of Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and 3G Cellular networks. Built specifically for outdoor deployments, BelAir Networks’ patented solution delivers the lowest cost per user and deploys in days, blending into the physical infrastructure of downtown business districts, hotels and resorts, and college campuses. Founded in 2001, BelAir Networks is a privately held company headquartered in Kanata, Ontario. For more information, please visit www.belairnetworks.com.