Lake Geneva obtains mobile command unit used by both the police and fire departments – Lake Geneva Regional News

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Det. Glen Nettesheim of the Lake Geneva Police Department stands next to a mobile command unit that is being shared by both the police department and fire department.
The mobile command unit features several monitors that can display what is occurring at the scene of an emergency situation.
Det. Glen Nettesheim of the Lake Geneva Police Department discusses some of the features of the mobile command unit that is being used by both the police department and fire department.
The mobile command unit serves as a communication center where first responders can strategize how they are going to handle an emergency situation.
The City Of Lake Geneva has a new vehicle that has been on the police and fire departments’ wish list for several years.
The city received the mobile command unit, which will be shared by both the police and fire department, in October.
The mobile command unit will be transported to serious emergency situations to serve as a communication center with emergency workers who are on the scene.
“This would basically supplement our dispatch center and give us an area to plan on how to handle emergencies,” Det. Glen Nettesheim of the Lake Geneva Police Department said. “When we have a drowning out by the lake, our dispatch center is overwhelmed with what’s going on at the scene and calls that are coming in. If our dispatchers are in the vehicle and work with the staff that’s out on the scene, it eases the burden on them.”
The vehicle recently was transported to a major fire that occurred near Highway 120 and Highway 11 in Spring Prairie.
Captain Mark Moeller-Gunderson of the Lake Geneva Fire Department said the vehicle allowed dispatchers to communicate with the different departments that responded to the scene.
“When you have multiple departments coming in from all over the area and when you have people in the command van that can coordinate with everybody on different fire channels and bring in extra resources and provide a more effective centralized command, that is extremely helpful,” Moeller-Gunderson said.
Nettesheim said the vehicle can be transported to community events, such as Venetian Festival, in case there is an emergency situation and to give police officers and firefighters an opportunity to interact with the public.
“If you look at Venetian Festival, the big thing is to have this out there,” Nettesheim said. “If something were to happen, we would be able to respond without having to run to the police department and fire department and just have the resources there.”
Moeller-Gunderson said the mobile command unit also could be used as a temporary shelter for when first responders need to get out of inclement weather.
“If it was 40 degrees below zero or raining for a long, extended period, the best test of that command vehicle is when it’s being put to use,” Moeller-Gunderson said.
The mobile command unit is equipped with two large monitors and 15 smaller monitors which can broadcast the scene of an emergency situation, a map of the scene or a live news feed.
“We can pretty much put what we want on here,” Nettesheim said. “If we needed to monitor a situation that’s breaking news, we can put a news station on here. We can put our dispatch counsels on here if we need to bring up Google maps or a grid or an outline of a perimeter of something. We can do all that here.”
Nettesheim said the back room of the vehicle includes two intel stations where emergency crews can control the cameras of the mobile command unit.
The vehicle includes a flat roof that emergency workers can walk on to launch a drone.
“You can walk on the entire thing. So if we needed to put a drone in the air, we can deploy it right off of here and tie the feed right into the computers and monitors,” Nettesheim said. “So as the drone operator is flying it out, whoever is in charge has real-time live feed, so they can direct the responders into their positions.”
Moeller-Gunderson said he is impressed with the technology that is available in the mobile command unit.
“It allows for the most up-to-date technology,” Moeller-Gunderson said. “It has excellent communication capabilities.”
The vehicle cost about $470,000 to purchase and about $40,000 to equip.
Officials from the police and fire departments requested to purchase the vehicle as part of the city’s 2020 budget. However, there was not enough money in the city’s equipment replacement fund during that time, but the mobile command unit was included in the 2021 budget.
Nettesheim said a new mobile command unit was needed because the previous vehicle was outdated and not used very often.
“The command unit we had, it barely got used because it was so impractical,” Nettesheim said. “We looked at the numbers over the past couple of years, and there was 70 or 80 incidents each year that something like this would have ben beneficial for us to have out on a scene.”
Nettesheim said the vehicle can be upgraded to handle updated technology.
“Technology updates and changes, so we have the ability to adapt as well,” Nettesheim said. “This isn’t something that will be outdated in 10 years. This is something we can take in the future and upgrade as new technology comes out.”
Moeller-Gunderson said the mobile command unit will allow both departments to respond to emergency situations more effectively.
“We work together all the time on small incidents, as well as major incidents, and this is just another example of that level of cooperation of those efforts,” Moeller-Gunderson said. “The bottom line is, it serves the public better and that’s our vision to work together to save lives, to save property, and this is another tool to help us work together to do that job effectively.”
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Det. Glen Nettesheim of the Lake Geneva Police Department stands next to a mobile command unit that is being shared by both the police department and fire department.
The mobile command unit features several monitors that can display what is occurring at the scene of an emergency situation.
Det. Glen Nettesheim of the Lake Geneva Police Department discusses some of the features of the mobile command unit that is being used by both the police department and fire department.
The mobile command unit serves as a communication center where first responders can strategize how they are going to handle an emergency situation.

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