In the moments following the September 11 terror attacks in New York City, the communication between emergency responders was a significant challenge.
Firefighters, police officers and emergency medical services providers could not talk to each other because their communication equipment was incompatible and they lacked radio coverage within the building; more precisely, they lacked communication interoperability.
Tragically, this disconnection may have prevented the evacuation of the brave firefighters before the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers collapsed.
Following that horrible morning in September 2001, there was an urgent need to find a technological solution to enable direct communications between first responders during wide-scale emergencies.
Relying on decades of know-how in developing tactical communication systems and interoperability solutions for the Israeli Defense Forces, the MER Group came up with a new product that is intuitive, adaptable and effective.
The MER interoperability system – named mACS – facilitates two-way communication between all kinds of communication assets, including radio transceivers, phone landlines and cell phones, by transforming multiple and diverse audio sources to streams that can be sent online to earphones, loudspeakers, headsets or any other voice sounding equipment.
We designed mACS as a mission-critical application, placing emphasis on durability, reliability, maintainability and fault tolerance. At the same time, this innovative technology has a user-friendly interface (the touch screen has one button for each type of task) to ensure it is easy to learn and simple to operate.
Since then, MER has delivered mACS – and other interoperability solutions – to a wide spectrum of military and civilian customers worldwide, including Israel’s Air Force, Navy and Ground Forces, Mexico’s federal police and Panama City’s emergency response providers.
The circle closed in 2014, when a MER team travelled to New York City to install our interoperability solution in a high-rise building that had been recently completed – the new One World Trade Center, which replaced the Twin Towers.