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Port to Test Emergency Public Address System

Outdoor network to boost security communications

July 20, 2009

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday, July 20, approved the design and installation of a test public address system to communicate with outdoor workers and others in the event of emergencies at the Port of Long Beach.

The Commission gave the green light to design the port-wide system and construct at least one kiosk and outdoor array that will be used to test the system's performance. If the test is successful, the system could be deployed throughout the Port.

The $1.13 million cost of the initial phases are funded by a $968,000 grant from statewide Proposition 1B funds, and $165,000 from the federal Urban Area Security Initiative. Radia Systems of Carlsbad has been selected as the contractor.

The warning system will use outdoor loudspeakers, strobe lights and electronic message boards to communicate to the large number of workers in the noisy outdoor environment of the Port, including longshore workers, truck drivers and other marine terminal staff.  Radia Systems will assist Port staff with outreach efforts to ensure the system meets the needs of the Port community.

Several new emergency communications systems have been added to the Port in recent years, including an all-hazard alert radio station (AM 550), roadside traffic alert signs and automated notification systems for phones and computers.

A public address system would provide a means of emergency communications with workers at the Port who have no access to e-mail or phone notification. The Port has also lacked a means of communicating with members of the public who use the Port for fishing, boating and other recreation.

"Effective communication is vital to securing the Port. A public address system would help us fill a gap in our ability to communicate with outdoor personnel and others during an emergency at the Port," said Port Security Director Cosmo Perrone. 

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