Especially since 9/11, U.S. ports are primarily focused on security, operations, and safety. The confluence of three major factors – 9/11, wireless communications, and the widening of the Panama Canal – are fundamentally changing the way ports will operate; ports have not experienced anything similar since the containerization of cargo almost 40 years ago. So much is changing so quickly that for the ports, it’s like changing a tire on a moving car.
The tragic events of 9/11 were a game changer for all Americans – and ports, too. The Maritime Transportation Safety Act of 2002 dusted off existing, but unenforced, World War II waterfront regulation and ushered in a new era for port security. In the coming months, the top U.S. ports will also be required to comply with the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) rules to increase security throughout the port.
The explosive growth of wireless communications, increase in broadcast capacities and smart devices with the ability to use global positioning data for accurate cargo tracking (with the right equipment to less than one meter) are considered disruptive innovation, which will require not only careful implementation, but a willingness to change policies and procedures. Port operators increasingly are looking at the use of wireless communications to improve operations and increase efficiencies.
The Panama Canal is handling more traffic and larger ships than its original builders could have imagined. The Panama Canal Authority will open new larger locks and deeper canals capable of servicing significantly larger cargo ships. For container ships, the capacity will go up to 13,000, 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) with the current lock/canal capacity at about 5,000 TEUs.
The new larger container ships will undoubtedly stress current terminal operations. At more than 25 moves per hour per crane, five cranes will need up to six days in port for a full discharge and reload. Terminals need to anticipate longer port calls in planning contracts and berthing. The big question is how does a port effectively make major infrastructure improvements and changes while cargo is motion 24/7 without serious risk to the current operations?
To be ready for the approaching perfect storm of increased security, expanding use of wireless solutions and the ever-growing amount of cargo, East and West Coast ports are aggressively enhancing and updating wharfs, the backlands (cargo handling areas), gate complexes, and in-shore transportation networks. These are the new normal: integrated detection and surveillance; video integration between security, operations and safety; interoperable voice communications across the workforce, law enforcement and first responders; automatic management of events (both operations and security); comprehensive automation of gate systems (use of biometrics and less than one minute transaction time); and use of “off the shelf” software, which can be integrated with other software and devices.
From the list of challenges it is easy to see that there is a sizeable IT infrastructure component. Ports have a long, rich history, which serves them well but can hinder progress and willingness to embrace new technology. The ports need a proven and trusted partner who puts the customer first and has the bench strength of thought leadership, vertical expertise, library of industry best practices, sound business practices (such as Lean Six Sigma) and mobility IP.
Ed Merkle is the Principal Consultant for Public Safety and Maritime on the Solutions Sales Team at Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Learn more about Motorola’s suite of solutions for Airports and Seaports here.
Learn more about seaports and shipping facts and solutions here:
As I discussed in my Earth Day blog yesterday, it is important that we take personal accountability for the health of our planet. So what simple actions can you take to save energy throughout the year?
Manage electronic equipment energy use better. Did you know that the total electricity consumed by idle electronics in the United States equals the annual output of 12 power plants? Save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at work by setting your computer, monitor and other office equipment to power down when not in use. Activate the power management features on your computer and monitor, unplug laptop power cords and turn off equipment and lights at the end of the day. Plugging everything into a power strip makes it easy to shut everything down at one time.
Turn off lights when not needed. If possible, turn off lights in conference rooms when you leave. Turn off computer projectors when finished with your presentations. And turn off desk task lights when not needed and when you leave for the day. At home, turn off lights in rooms that are not being used. Watch energy consumption during peak times, such as summer air conditioners.
Use less energy for your commute. Switching to public transportation, carpooling, biking or telecommuting can save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on your way to and from work. If you do drive, find out the fuel efficiency of your vehicle, and make more environmentally informed choices when purchasing your next vehicle.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Reducing, reusing, and recycling at the work helps conserve energy and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Reduce, reuse, and recycle at the office by using two-sided printing and copying; only printing what you need; buying supplies made with recycled content; and recycling paper products, batteries and used printer cartridges. All of these actions help conserve energy and reduce carbon pollution.
Corporations can make a difference too
We at Motorola Solutions take our corporate responsibility seriously and set challenging goals and undertake projects to improve our environmental performance each year. For example:
Together we can all make a difference for our world today and tomorrow.
Jodi Shapiro is vice president, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) for Motorola Solutions, and is responsible for the company’s global EHS efforts, which encompass protecting the environment, safety and health of company employees; compliance and audit functions; environmental remediation; regulatory intelligence; and supply chain corporate responsibility.
I was finishing a 14-hour shift, and I was changing from my fire department uniform into my business attire for my sales job at Motorola Solutions. It had been a long night, and Ambulance 351 had responded to four EMS calls in the span of seven hours.
Then the tones sounded, and dispatch requested an emergency labor delivery at the Shell Gas Station across the street. The incoming shift was running late, so I jumped behind the wheel of Ambulance 351.
My lieutenant and I responded to the Shell Gas Station, and we approached a Ford Astro minivan. In the driver’s seat was an elderly woman, and in the back seat was a woman in distress. My lieutenant climbed into the back seat, and I went in through the passenger side door. The woman delivered the baby right as we were climbing into the van. My lieutenant was crouched in front of her, and I was wedging myself between the passenger and driver seats to hover over him. He held the newborn attempting to clear the airways as I clamped the umbilical cord from over his shoulder.
The newborn had not yet started to cry and was turning blue. We gained permission from the mother to take the newborn into the ambulance. We wrapped the newborn and removed him from the vehicle into the warm, idling ambulance. Within seconds of putting the child into the ambulance, I heard the miraculous sound of a newborn’s cry. The mother joined the child in the ambulance a few minutes later, and we transported them both to the hospital.
That day, I was late for work. Very late.
My manager had been very supportive of my part-time work at West Dundee Fire Department, but it had never caused me to be late for my job. I walked in almost two hours late, and he questioned me as to why I was so late. I told him the story, but he was convinced that I had stayed out partying very late the night before (I was 26 and living in the city). It wasn’t until the next day, when the incident was reported in the newspaper briefs, that I secured my acceptable excuse for my tardiness. We still enjoy a good laugh over that story to this day.
All first responders – whether they be full-time, part-time, paid-on-call, or volunteer – have a similar great story about how they assisted with something good for their communities. However, we all carry the burden of that emergency call that, despite all of our training and preparedness, goes wrong.
Only a couple weeks after the delivery at the gas station, I was working ER clinical hours for my EMT certification when an infant came in with extensive bleeding. The nurses and I treated the patient right there in Triage according to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and we exhausted all energy and resources at our disposal prior to the infant being whisked away for emergency surgery. The incident had again happened near the end of my shift, and I was due at Motorola within the hour. As I was cleaning up, I learned that the child had died in surgery. The nurses asked me to stay behind and talk about the incident, but I was very concerned about again being late for work.
I made it to work with minutes to spare, and I went about my day. I made calls, ate lunch, and went home to get some rest. I didn’t sleep that night, and I barely got any sleep for the next few nights. If I tried to close my eyes, I would relive the entire incident and constantly question what more I could have done. I tried to discuss the incident with co-workers, family, and friends, but as understanding as they tried to be … they did not understand the feelings I was experiencing.
I didn’t have a shift until a couple weeks later, and I discussed with my shift commander the loss of sleep, the feelings of anxiousness, and the overall sadness that had stemmed from this loss of life. It was at this time that we ran through the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing, the exercise I had skipped at the time thinking it wasn’t necessary. Clearly, I had not understood the complications that would arise from skipping the CISD exercise. We ran through the process even though it was not an incident that took place while I was with the Fire Department; they listened to me report all the circumstances of the event, and they reassured me that there was nothing more anyone could have done. They shared their own stories of loss, and I walked away from that shift feeling like a boulder had been lifted from my shoulders. Stress is an unavoidable part of life as a first responder, and it must be taken into consideration in every step of serving the public.
I am thinking about all of this as I watch the coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and all of the everyday people who took action to assist the first responders at the scene. Many of them will be experiencing the same symptoms, and I hope they take time to go through CISD and find someone or some group that can assist them to conquer their nightmares.
Bill Radde is the North America Marketing lead for Government Lead Generation at Motorola Solutions.
Learn more about Critical Incident Stress Management here
Read an additional blog by Karen Carlson about preparing first responders to handle the stress of NG911.
Almost everyone has a 9-1-1 story or has heard about one on the news. From the ridiculous – someone calls to complain about a fast-food order or for directions to the mall – to incredibly intense, life-threatening calls. A terrified wife hides from her abusive husband as he searches for her with a gun; a man is trapped in a burning apartment or a crying child can’t wake up his Mom. In honor of National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, it seems only fitting that we all take a moment to recognize the men and women on the other end of those emergency calls. Our nation’s true first responders – 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers.
They are ordinary people, doing extraordinary work. They help callers deliver babies, triage wounds and perform CPR. And despite the routine adrenaline rides and chaos that punctuate their day, they remain patient even when calls aren’t urgent, like the unintentional pocket dial. In times of crisis, they are the calm voice on the phone that stays until help arrives. Their actions keep citizens safe and police officers, firefighters and EMTs better prepared. And then it’s on to the next call.
They may work behind the scenes, but their impact reaches far and wide. They rarely get to know what happens to the lives they’ve touched. Yet they carry on. It’s a highly stressful, very demanding profession that requires keen multi-tasking skills and the ability to manage a lot of information at once. Not everyone is cut out for it. Just ask them.
This week, we salute the dedication and contributions of public safety telcommunicators nationwide. We are honored to serve such a worthy profession. Dispatchers, 9-1-1 call takers and the administrators that support them are public safety’s unsung heroes; the nameless, faceless voices we count on to talk us off the ledge until help arrives.
We thank you today, and every day, for a job well done.
Karen Carlson, is Manager, PSA Product Management and PremierOne Portfolio, Motorola Solutions. Read additional blogs by Karen Carlson here.
Please let us know in the comments here if you have any questions, feedback or suggestions for future blogs.
Those new to public safety communications systems often wonder if these networks are over-designed and ask whether or not commercial systems could be used to save costs. Consider the following:
When Superstorm Sandy came roaring ashore on the East Coast of the United States in October of 2012, 25 percent of the region’s commercial cell sites were knocked out of service, according to an article published by Urgent Communications on November 6, 2012. A week later, many of those sites still remained inoperable and as a result some public carriers reported nationwide network issues. Private, mission critical networks in the region on the other hand, remained in service throughout the event. What does that mean? Public safety officials and government agencies could communicate and coordinate responses across cities, counties and departments. Emergency calls connected instantly. First responder group calls were established in under a second. Lives and property were protected.
Mission critical networks are different because they have to be. Designed to a more rigorous standard, they ensure public safety and government agencies have voice and data access where and when it’s needed for daily operations, events and the unexpected. They offer five defining characteristics that public carriers simply can’t match:
There’s no substitute for a purpose-designed and purpose-built mission critical network for the critical operations of public safety.
Motorola has been committed to public safety customers for over 80 years. Our P25 mission critical systems are in use every day across the United States and in more than 60 countries around the world. We continue to innovate to serve government and public safety better, building networks and devices that offer true mission critical capabilities on P25 and next generation Public Safety LTE networks.
Gary Schluckbier is Senior Director, ASTRO Systems Infrastructure Operations for Motorola Solutions.
If you are interested in more information about this topic, please take a look at our latest whitepaper titled “Mission Critical Communications: Designed to a Tougher Standard.”