Station Marblehead takes part in high-tech blimp test

SANDUSKY, Ohio РCoast Guard Station Marblehead joined with a consortium of federal agencies,Ohio universities and private Ohio companies in simulating  a disaster today to demonstrate how the AerOhio1 Aerostat, a 75-foot long, high-tech blimp, can be used by emergency response teams to establish communication and provide visual contact during a crisis.

“This form of technology will help emergency responders reach and assist those in need more efficiently and knowledgably ultimately protecting and saving more lives,” said Lanny Jines, acting program manager of High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE).

During natural disasters, terrorist attacks or other crises, debris, collapsed buildings and downed utility lines often block roads and delay rescue teams. Cellular towers, too, are often destroyed virtually halting communication and useable real-time images of disaster sites and subsequent terrorist activities are nonexistent due to lack of visual contact.

Equipped with advanced sensors such as high-resolution cameras and infrared detectors, the AerOhio1 Aerostat provides solutions to these challenges by connecting emergency responders, providing visuals of a disaster site, locating terrorists and improving emergency response time.

The demonstration was held at the ARES Inc. Munitions test site at 818 Front Street, Erie Industrial Park, Port Clinton, Ohio.

In addition to Station Marblehead, other agencies involved in the training included:

Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security
Ottawa Sheriff’s Department
Ottawa County Volunteer Fire Department, EMS and Hazmat teams of the
Emergency Management Agency
Erie Township Volunteer Fire Department
Port Clinton Fire Department
Ohio Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS)
Federal Bureau of Investigation

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