Local and Federal Agencies Test Communication Capabilities in Bangor
State, local, and federal agencies are taking part this week in the National Guard’s vital communications exercise to test communication capabilities.Command units were set up all around the Maine National Guard’s Regional Training Institute.”We have several different ways that we use to communicate during an emergency, radios, hand radios, internet capability, satellite capability and so forth,” said Bruce Fitzgerald, Deputy Director of Maine Emergency Management Agency. “We’re taking our radios and coming up with common operating frequencies so that we can all intercommunicate whenever there is a natural disaster,” said Matthew Todd, S6 NCOIC of 120th RSG, of the Maine Army National Guard. Or in any other type of emergency. If one system fails, they’ll still be able to communicate.”Maine’s a big state and we need to be able to talk from one end to another and make sure that we’re able to talk to all of our first responders no matter where they are in case they need help,” said Fitzgerald. “This is very beneficial for us because all of the soldiers here are in some way connected to communications in our state and this is a good opportunity for us to stretch our skills and grow,” said Todd. Bangor’s mobile command truck was put to the test.”Initially we came in today and worked with York County’s truck, which was set up as an incident command post, but because of a simulated generator failure, we moved the City of Bangor’s truck into it, so for several hours today everybody will be working out of the City of Bangor’s mobile command truck to communicate with everybody. We have a lot of equipment and because there’s not a lot of big events in the state of Maine, it’s good to be out in exercise during these planned events for us,” said Assistant Bangor Fire Chief Tom Higgins.And getting to know members of other agencies is key to working well together if tragedy does strike.”The information we’re going to exchange today will continue way beyond today in the months and years to come,” said Higgins.