Mobile Command Unit

DCEM PhotoThe mobile command unit was used in June, 2019, to test its capabilities as a backup for the Communications Center.DCEM PhotoIn 2018, Dickinson County Emergency Management acquired a new mobile command unit (MCU), replacing a very undersized 14-foot enclosed trailer with no heat or air conditioning and was only big enough to hold a couple people. The new unit is a 2019 KZ Sportster 30-foot "toy hauler" travel trailer with an on-board generator, 30-gallon fuel tank, kitchenette, and bathroom. These amenities us to deploy anywhere and be self-sufficient for several hours - or days - at a time.

The new MCU is setup to be multi-purpose. The rear portion can be used for either medical treatment/rehab or as a meeting and planning area for those overseeing an incident or operation. The rear door opens down forming a ramp which allows stretchers to be rolled in and out as needed. The front area is setup for communications and has two workstations, each with radios and laptops. The radios allow us to communicate across Dickinson County, with neighboring counties, and even all across Iowa using the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System (ISICS). We can also reach into Minnesota using their statewide radio system, known as ARMER. In the event that our primary dispatch center becomes inoperable, dispatchers can relocate to the MCU, receive phone calls, and dispatch law enforcement, fire, and EMS agencies in Dickinson County.

Funding for the MCU was provided largely by the Dickinson County Board of Supervisors who contributed $30,000 toward the project. Emergency Management paid the remaining $4,115 of the purchase price.

The first event for the MCU was the fire at Market Street Tire in Lake Park on December 20, 2018. While there, the MCU worked communications for the event and served as a warm place for those involved with the incident. Responders were on scene all night and into the following morning while temperatures hovered in the mid-thirties. Personnel with Lake Park Rescue oversaw rehab for the firefighters at the MCU and made sure there was plenty of coffee and hot chocolate on hand. Local businesses supplied hot food and other items for the firefighters.

The MCU was used in March of 2019 as a command post for the flooding operations in the Airport Drive area of Milford, then in August of 2019 for an active shooter exercise at Camp Foster, and the following week for a two-day search of a drowning victim in East Lake Okoboji.

Thank You!

Dickinson County Emergency Management wishes to thank the following entities for their support in this project:

DCEM PhotoThe Mobile Command Unit was used for rehab and a warming station for the firefighters during the Market Street Tire fire in Lake Park in December, 2018.DCEM Photo DCEM PhotoMeeting space in the rear of the trailer can also be used as a medical treatment area.DCEM Photo DCEM PhotoThe kitchenette allows us to serve food and cold water to responders or simply be used as another workspace.DCEM Photo

Michael Ehret
Dickinson County Courthouse
1802 Hill Ave, Ste B103
  Spirit Lake, IA 51360
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