Jersey Central Power & Light will join the New Jersey Preparedness Emergency Communication Network, which is expected to help provide quicker responses during emergencies in northern New Jersey and better coordinate the actions of first responders during major storms. JCP&L is the first New Jersey utility to join the emergency communications system network.
As part of the integration process, JCP&L will install components of the emergency communications system in its Regional Dispatching Operations (RDO) centers in Morristown and Red Bank. These facilities manage the work that is done on a day-to-day basis on the company's electrical system and provide direct oversight and coordination for the damage assessment and dispatching of repair crews when a weather event causes widespread power outages in JCP&L's service territory.
In a large-scale emergency, the network is designed to coordinate communications from various federal, state and local first responders, law enforcement agencies, fire, emergency management and mass transit agencies, hospitals, and places where large crowds could be impacted, including shopping malls, sports arenas and schools.
The emergency communication system, which employs technology from Mutualink Inc., has the ability to connect public and private communications, including radio, voice, text, video, data files and telephone, in a secure environment so key information can be more easily and quickly shared in a large-scale emergency.
"Participating in this system will enhance our ability to share real-time critical information with our customers, communities, and first responders during emergency situations," said JCP&L President Don Lynch. "Joining this system is one of the many things we have done over the last two years to enhance our overall communications efforts with various governmental agencies during a large-scale emergency or weather event."
"JCP&L's participation in this program is an important step designed to help protect the 4.5 million people in northern New Jersey and the region's critical infrastructure when a severe weather event or deliberate attack occurs," said James J. Sheehan, Program Manager, for the Department of Homeland Security's Northern NJ- Newark/Jersey City Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI).