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A major rush hour accident on a suspension bridge involves an oil tanker truck and numerous civilian vehicles. The firefighters are first on the scene and notice that the bridge is structurally damaged, but because the police are using a disparate communication system, there is no way for these groups to communicate the seriousness of the situation with each other. Police and medical services rush onto the bridge to deliver aid to the wounded as a span of the bridge gives way. Emergency situations like this and other catastrophic events that the authors see or hear on newscasts every day highlight the need for split second decision making. In many instances, communications among those responding to events such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks have lacked interoperability.
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