AT&T has deployed and activated a COW (“Cell site on Wheels”) to help boost wireless communication in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness where firefighters are dealing with a serious blaze near Pagami Creek.
The ‘COW’ has been deployed at the Isabella Community Center, which has been turned into a fire command center that covers the affected area.
The AT&T vice president and general manager for Minnesota and the Northern Plains, Hardmon Williams said that AT&T is helping ensure emergency responders, firefighters and residents who face danger in the fire zone to keep the essential lines of communication open. He said, “The temporary cell site will help facilitate strategic communication between the emergency responders who are dedicated to seeing through this dangerous job.”
The new ‘COW’ equipment has greater range, than the original ARMZ unit (“AT&T Remote Mobility Zone”), which was installed more than a week ago, after a request from the Lake County Sheriff’s office. The ARMZ unit was a fast, temporary solution until a COW unit could be installed to give greater communications range.
Dr. Thomas Clifford, 1st District Commissioner, Lake County Board told the media, “Part of the reason firefighters have been able to battle the fire so effectively is wireless communications. Fortunately, AT&T set up emergency equipment to aid communications during the disaster and help first responders coordinate their activities.
“When lives are at stake,” he concluded, “we need to have the security that high-speed wireless technology provides. It can be a life-saver.”
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Picture Credit: Image by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region via Flickr.