Airwave Down Below

By Lindsey Last edited 120 months ago
Airwave Down Below

BTP140109.jpg A mere 21 years plus since a report on the Kings Cross fire first recommended implementing effective emergency radio Underground, it has finally arrived. Now British Transport Police can talk to each other and the Met wherever they may be in the Underground network.

The lack of action post 1987 turned into serious investment post 2005, when the breakdown of the old radio system hampered emergency service efforts to rescue victims of the July bomb attack on the tube. Yelling into tunnels is really not the best way to coordinate things. Airwave is to be rolled out to the London Ambulance Servicetoo; they use something "similar" at present, whilst the Fire Brigade's version is apparently "inter-operable" with Airwave over and underground.

There's more investment to come amidst fears that the system doesn't yet have the capacity to deal with the forecast communication demands of shepherding Olympic crowds - ie it wobbles if a lot of users are trying to talk to each other in the same area at the same time... but for now we're just pleased that even at the deepest point: 35m below sea level, the sound is as apparently good as being on the street.

Image courtesy of JD Mack's Flickrstream under a Creative Commons Attribution licence.

Last Updated 14 January 2009