Video: District gets state-of-the-art emergency response vehicle
Video by Brooks Hubbard IV
LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – The Los Angeles District will be well prepared for its next disaster response with the recent acquisition of one of the Corps’ newest Emergency Command and Control Vehicles. The ECCV, built on an International truck chassis, is a 47-foot vehicle designed to serve as a temporary mobile command post. It provides 11 work stations that each have a computer jack, 110- and 12-volt power sockets, and a phone that has cell, Voice over Internet Protocol and satellite capabilities. There is also onboard Wi-Fi capability to provide access for additional computers, and a rear compartment that houses a conference table, video camera and large screen TV for video conferencing. “The old RRVs were extremely functional in their time,” said Alex Watt, referring to the 12-year old Response and Recovery Vehicle that served as the District’s previous emergency command vehicle. “But these are state-of-the-art. I’m so glad the Corps went this route with the truck chassis, because where we’re going is not just into town. We have to be able to get into and out of rough situations.” Watt, a rehired annuitant and one of three District employees licensed to drive the ECCV, is a classic car enthusiast. He speaks that language when he describes the new vehicle’s capabilities. “The old RRV was thirty-seven feet long and powered by a seven-and-a-half liter diesel engine,” Watt said. “It was similar to a roach-coach or UPS van. It was woefully underpowered for our needs and would have trouble getting over a two-by-four without a running start. This one is powered by an International six-cylinder, twelve-and-a-half liter twin turbo engine and an Allison six-speed automatic transmission. It’s the second-most powerful engine International makes.” Sgt. Maj. Jeffery Koontz worked in the previous RRV when he deployed to hurricanes Rita and Katrina. He is another of the drivers qualified to operate the ECCV, and he echoed Watt’s comments. “In comparison, the old vehicle couldn’t get out of its own way,” Koontz said. “The ease of setup with the new ECCV is a drastic improvement. The satellite uplink is fully operational in minutes, not to mention the operational staff reduction for the new equipment. You know, ‘Faster, smarter, better.’” Available in High Definition.