Grand Canyon West to Host Emergency Response Drill with Public Safety Agencies

Media wishing to receive video footage or secure interviews with participants in the mock drill should RSVP to [email protected]. Both B-roll video and interviews about the mock emergency will be available via download from Dropbox.


A mock disaster drill will be conducted Wednesday Sept. 14, 2016 at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. The drill, hosted by Grand Canyon West and the Hualapai Tribe, will simulate a tour helicopter failing to gain altitude and hitting a bus filled with visitors. The accident results in numerous injuries, fatalities and a massive debris field.

Multiple emergency preparedness agencies from the State of Arizona, the federal government and tribal and municipal first responders will participate in the drill, along with private sector companies vendors (see complete list below). The exercise will test the nationwide public safety broadband network established in the aftermath of September 11th to ensure better response to public safety crises. The 9/11 Commission found that first responders from the various public safety agencies had difficulty communicating with each other in a crisis situation on existing systems. Upon completion in 2022, the network will cover all 50 states and six U.S. territories.

In February 2012, President Obama signed legislation that created the First Responders’ Network Authority (FirstNet) to build a nationwide communications system dedicated to public safety. The mock drill is being conducted because there is concern, especially among many Tribal nations, that some rural areas may not be receiving adequate coverage from FirstNet.

Participants in the mock disaster drill include:

  • Hualapai Nation Police and Fire Departments
  • Grand Canyon West Airport Fire Department
  • Grand Canyon Resort Corporation
  • U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs
  • Arizona Department of Public Safety
  • Mohave County Emergency Management
  • Mohave County Sheriff’s Office
  • Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bullhead City Fire Department
  • Kingman Fire Department
  • Arizona National Guard
  • Arizona Department of Administration
  • Arizona Department of Health Services
  • Hospitals in Arizona and Nevada

The following vendors have provided time, expertise, and technology for the exercise:

Mutualink: Mutualink is an IP-based multimedia communication resource sharing platform that allows public safety agencies and critical community assets to communicate in a manner that is separate and apart from the general public. Mutualink offers customers a completely self-sufficient mobile work environment that allows them to communicate and function regardless of local conditions.

General Dynamics Mission Systems: General Dynamics Mission Systems’ LTE solutions provides the high-speed voice, video and data communications that users expect and deserve on any LTE enabled device. With General Dynamics LTE:

  • Police officers can share information and images instantly which has helped locate missing children faster
  • Soldiers on the battlefield can send and receive life-saving information in real time
  • Private companies can build dedicated LTE networks in locations where communications had been unavailable
  • News stations can broadcast live over-the-air from any location via a dedicated LTE-network
  • First responders, war-fighters and business professionals make informed decisions faster than ever before

Parallel Wireless: Parallel Wireless is reimagining the wireless infrastructure market, enabling carriers, public safety, and enterprises to deploy cellular networks as easy and as cost-effective as enterprise Wi-Fi. Currently, the company has been selected by the largest LTE provider in Europe and is engaged in many trials globally.

Sonim Technologies: Sonim Technologies is a provider of mission-critical solutions designed specifically for workers in extreme, mission-critical, hazardous and isolated environments. Sonim’s XP7 is an LTE, FirstNet ready smartphone and features 40 hours of talk time, waterproof, extreme durability in hot and dusty environments, visibility under direct sunlight and support for a wide range of Android applications through Google PlayTM. Sonim’s rugged mobile phones are built specifically to withstand the rigors faced by public safety and defense sectors, as well as those who work in industries such as manufacturing, construction, transportation, oil and gas, hospitals and utilities.

Texas A&M – The Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center: Scientists at the ITEC work with the Internet2 organization and more than 200 leading research universities in the United States to develop strategies for the deployment of advanced communication and collaboration services. The ITEC supports the advancement and deployment of internet technologies, with special expertise in areas associated with Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1), Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Information Assurance.

GeoSuite is a web-based, multimedia common operating system that allows users to collect, report, share, and collaborate on information. Using an easy to use, media rich interface it is designed specifically for users at the lowest levels of execution such as police officers, rescue workers, field agents, and volunteers.

Broadsoft enables Mobile Operators to Seamlessly Migrate their Voice and Messaging Services to Mobile Broadband Networks.

TAKTIK, solutions based on innovative and efficient open source technologies, fully adapted to the needs of our clients and integrators. We specialize in managing high volume media flows and IPTV.

NICE Video Server helps security organizations and emergency services protect people and assets, by anticipating, managing and mitigating safety, security and operational risks. Through the capture, analysis and correlation of data from a myriad of physical and virtual sensors and systems, enables organizations to utilize sophisticated measures to prevent incidents and quickly conduct investigations.

ELSAG NA Law Enforcement Systems is dedicated to providing proprietary advanced Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to law enforcement worldwide. Our ANPR system, the MPH-900® aids the prevention and enforcement of vehicle related crimes faster than ever before and has been proven to aid in the recovery of stolen cars, drugs and secure assets from crime.

Police forces all over the world depend on the MPH-900 ANPR to help aid public safety. We are committed to adapting and evolving our technologies in order to provide customized solutions for their operational requirements and law enforcement goals as they are or can be connected to vehicle number plates.

Media wishing to receive video footage or secure interviews with participants in the mock drill should RSVP to david(at)leibowitzsolo(dot)com. Both B-roll video and interviews about the mock emergency will be available following the drill via download from Dropbox.