On Friday, August 13th, 2004, the Florida Fish and Wildlife closed their Lakeland dispatch center (SW Region), at approximately 1600 hours, due to Hurricane Charley, and did not resume normal traffic until 00:01 hours, August 14th. During this closure, all communications were forwarded to our NE Region, located at the Orlando Regional Communications Center (ORCC). This was the first closure, of a communications center, since the state's implementation of SmartCAD (and M/A-COM radios).
We are pleased to advise that the transition went smoothly. Our members at the ORCC were able to connect to the Tampa Bay Regional Communications Center CAD server, and take on our SW Region's area of responsibilities, with ease. All too often, we hear "what is not working", and too seldom, do we hear "what went right". Having the ability to dispatch to other areas of the state, during catastrophic events, was, in my opinion, one of the most important features that Captain Steve Williams stressed, in the earlier stages of SmartCAD. Well, it worked, and it worked well...
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Captain Steve Williams, Lieutenant Russ Bass, Highway Safety Specialist Paul Dixon and Chief Duty Officer Margaret Goodman, for all the hard work they continue to commit to the SmartCAD project (in which we all benefit!!!).
Duty Officer comments: "I was just sitting at a different cubicle in a different city yet it was no different than sitting at any of the cubicles in Lakeland..."
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Tallahassee, FL 32399