Designing a mobile command center can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the custom fabrication process. APEX Specialty Vehicles is offering some insight that will be helpful while you navigate the process. Local and state municipalities or even national organizations find mobile command centers to be one of the most practical solutions for in-the-field representation during emergency and task-related situations. This will explain the increase in mobile command centers in the field, so let’s explore the insider tips!
The question may arise… what is a mobile command center used for? Although the uses can range in complexity, a generic answer is that the functionality of a mobile workspace is critical in many situations, including disaster relief or recovery efforts, natural disasters, SWAT/police presence or emergency response. It can be used to bring supplies, resources, assistance, and order into a region that needs additional support.
As an example, a custom mobile command center was built for the Department of Financial Services. They used this mobile unit for setting up a temporary office that was able to provide insurance assistance to flooding victims in Rochester, NY. By providing this mobile command center, residents felt their needs were being addressed in a timely manner, instead of filing an insurance claim and waiting months and months.
Another example of a mobile command center used for an entirely different objective is for the American Medical Response (AMR) activating multiple mobile command centers throughout Texas, South and North Carolina, and Virginia. These AMRs were tasked to provide victims of Hurricane Florence with hundreds of paramedics, EMTs, and necessary medical supplies.
When an agency or nonprofit team is asked to get bids for a mobile command center, many are unfamiliar with the options available to increase efficiency and workflow. Not having an experienced builder can cost an agency not only time and money, but additional headaches and repair and upfitting costs down the road. When designing a mobile command center, APEX Specialty Vehicles suggests the following tips for consideration when designing a mobile command center.
Tip #1: Functionality of each element inside of the mobile command center
A mobile command center has space (height, length, and width) limitations. The space inside of a step van or custom built trailer can be claimed very quickly with large bulky items if the design team isn’t experienced in this type of build. APEX sits down with our customers to listen to their needs and determining the most important aspects needed. APEX then presents a 3D rendering which allows the customer to visually understand where each element of the command center will be placed. The tricky part of a mobile command center build is that the interior can become very cluttered quickly if the configuration is not correct. It’s imperative that each element inside of the mobile command center has a mandatory purpose. For example, can this conference area function as individual workstations as well? Can the couch or sitting area serve as a fold-out bed? Can the walls have mounted desks that fold down only when needed?
Tip #2: Determine the travel radius
Will the mobile command center travel within a 50-mile radius? Statewide? Nationwide? These are important questions to consider when designing a command center. The need for a sleeping quarters, restroom, or kitchenette area could be required if the distance of travel is far.
Tip #3: Power
As your team is designing and creating a list of must-haves in a mobile command center, it’s important to know the size (and limitations) of generator needed to operate the mobile unit. Will you need shore power? Without power, you cannot perform the tasks of a mobile command center, so it's imperative to get this part of the equation right! The APEX team has an in-house engineering team that can calculate the size of generator needed. Let us help answer your questions!
Tip #4: Warranty and Costs
Many specialty builders require you to return to their facility when you need repair work completed. APEX stands out from this standard with our 5-yr unmatched warranty. This offers warranty/craftsmanship repairs completed anywhere in the country. This is peace of mind to our customers, and a relief for agencies and organizations with set budgets.
We hope you found this article helpful as you continue to explore the functionality and tips of building a custom mobile command center. Not all builders are created equal, so it's important you find one that you are comfortable with because you'll be spending a lot of time communication over the next several months!
APEX takes each build very seriously. As a 9001:2015 certified company, APEX is focused on quality control, while operating very process-driven. Each government and industrial custom-build is brought into the APEX process and walked through each step to ensure a high quality, state of the art finished product. APEX understands the importance of a task vehicle, particularly those designed for deployment in a moments notice. The ease of having a mobile command center or disaster relief unit on your lot ready to go can be a difference between life and devastation in some scenarios.