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FECV (Forward Emergency Control Vehicle) A Southern Health Board / European Space Agency project through which we are developing an advance communications vehicle for major emergency / event management through Satellite linkage to SHB systems.

FECV Project Overview

The Forward Emergency Control Vehicle - FECV is specifically designed to meet the needs of "high degrees of mobility, reliability and availability" in a way that is "affordable" in all economies. In particular, it addresses the demands for rapid deployment and intervention in the "Golden Hour"; the first 60 minutes of any major emergency/disaster in which medical treatment is most critical to the preservation of life and limb.

In April 1982, in a report advocating the use of satellite communications in emergencies, Jerry FREIBAUM of NASA Headquarters stated, "The unpredictability of locations and time of need mandates that the communications system must be able to operate anywhere at any time. Similarly, because human survival and property damage are directly affected by response time, high degrees of mobility, reliability and availability must be inherent to the system. This equates to a requirement to operate despite breakdowns of terrestrial systems due to weather, explosions and saturated ‘phone systems".

The design of the FECV results from the Southern Health Board’s own extensive experience of major emergency and disaster management and its own initial familiarisation with both the supply and demand sides of the market for such vehicles. Similar vehicles currently available are mostly designed for military use and are, therefore, too expensive, too large and too sophisticated for most healthcare and other relevant organisations. In contrast, the FECV combines an optimum level of technological sophistication with low cost. The FECV is also significant in its integration of terrestrial and satellite communications. This combination enables the establishment of communications immediately upon arrival on-site and before SatComs can be established. Thus, maximum advantage is taken of the Golden Hour.

The concept of the Forward Emergency Control Vehicle is that of a trailer-mounted integrated terrestrial and satellite communications system. The FECV will be capable of being towed and airlifted to the site of any disaster or major emergency where, through enabling and facilitating communications, it will aid the efficient medical and general management of the situation.

Consequently, the objectives of the project are to:


the Forward Emergency Control Vehicle - FECV.

Key Project Personnel

Southern Health Board, Áras Sláinte, Dennehy's Cross, Wilton Road, Cork

Tel +353-21-922990; Fax +353-21-923773; Web Site- www.shb.ie

Jack Somers, Management Services Officer; Jim Leahy, Telecommunications Manager; Ursula O'Sullivan IT/EU Projects Manager; John Lehane, PC Systems Manager; Tadgh Buckley, Network Manager.

European Space Agency, ESTEC PO Box 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

Tel +31-71-565 3923     Fax +31-71-565    Web Site; www.esa.int

Emmanuel Rammos, APP-CSP; D. Sampieri, IMT-CTC;

FECV Contact Information

Please contact us if you would like further information on the FECV project or if you have any comments on this site.

Postal address
Southern Health Board, Wilton Road, Cork, Ireland
Electronic mail
General Information: fecv@shb.ie
Webmaster: webmaster@shb.ie


Send mail to webmaster@shb.ie with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2000 Forward Emergency Control Vehicle
Last modified: February 25, 2000