ADT Emergency Communications Used to Protect 2006 AirVenture Oshkosh

Sept. 23, 2006
Mass notification units also help reunite man with family, and announce air show events

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Sept. 25, 2006 — As severe weather — thunderstorms with hail and winds topping 70 miles per hour — approached the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh 2006, event organizers used a new emergency voice communications system from ADT Security Services Inc. to warn thousands of attendees to take appropriate safety measures.

Twice during the show, severe weather threatened the area. Both times EAA organizers used two Mass Notification units to read official warnings from the National Weather Service and urge people to tie down their tents and airplanes and to take shelter.

"The Mass Notification units worked just as we hoped they would, enabling us to clearly communicate with a large crowd and provide the people with important life safety information," said John Faeh, security manager for AirVenture Oshkosh 2006.

The airshow, held July 24-31 in Oshkosh, Wis., attracted in excess of 750,000 people and more than 15,000 airplanes. For the week, Oshkosh's Wittman Regional Airport was the busiest airport in the nation and the site became one of the country's largest campgrounds.

ADT's Mass Notification system utilizes specialized speaker technology, which allows voice communications to be clearly heard up to one-quarter mile away and provides the ability to reach thousands of people in seconds. One portable unit was placed near the show's exhibit hall, while a second was located at the campsite.

Also during the weeklong show, ADT's Mass Notification was used to successfully locate the family of an elderly man who had wandered away and become lost in the crowds. In a separate incident, cameras mounted atop the voice communication towers sent live video to a security command center, where security officials used the video to help locate a man reportedly causing a disturbance.

According to Mark Nelson, manager of national strategic accounts for ADT's Federal Systems Division, Mass Notification is a good fit with a recent presidential homeland security directive ordering the implementation of effective, integrated, flexible and comprehensive systems to alert and warn the American public in situations of war, terrorist attack, natural disaster, or other hazards to public safety. The directive is aimed at both public and private sectors of the nation.

"In the event of an emergency or hazardous situation, Mass Notification supplies people with clear and immediate information that can greatly reduce the risk of death, injury and property damage," he said.

The system is already in use at various U.S. military installations throughout the world and is now available commercially to businesses, public safety agencies and other organizations.