Israeli company Techmer has won a bid to deploy smart communication systems at One World Trade Center (1 WTC), the lead building of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City.
The project is estimated at $11 million.
Techmer, a subsidiary of C. Mer Industries, specializes in smart communication solutions for security and emergency forces. In Israel it was in charge of the Carmel Tunnels project, which provides communication coverage for all security and emergency forces.
The company will serve as the chief contractor in the 1 WTC communication project, which began in April 2012 and will be conducted for about 15 months.
One World Trade Center, which was previously known as the Freedom Tower, is the lead building in the new world trade complex being built at Ground Zero. The 104-floor building will be one of the tallest in the world. Its construction began in 2006 and is expected to end next year.
The need for an advanced communication network came up as a result of the lessons learned from the 9/11 terror attacks. During the disaster in New York, the different rescue forces suffered serious communication problems due to the extreme conditions.
The infrastructure provided by Techmer will allow rescue forces – including firefighters, police and other units – to communicate with each other even in extreme states of emergency such as fires and terror attacks.
Unique systemTechmer CEO Itsik Ben Tolila explains that in states of emergency in skyscrapers, the forces' communication devices usually stop working after the teams climb several floors.
In the past, rescue forces would use the obsolete technology of connecting to special sockets in the walls in order to continue communicating with their headquarters.
The physical infrastructure Techmer is deploying in the building allows firefighters, for example, to continue talking to each other and to their headquarters through their communication devices, even when they enter the building.
The system is also suited to work with the communication systems of a number of other American agencies, the identity of which Techmer refuses to disclose.
One of the main advantages of this technology is that communication can continue even if the building suffers severe damage or if there is a power outage. In addition, the unique technology allows different agencies to communicate with each other, even through completely different communication methods.
"In the 9/11 attacks," says Ben Tolila, "security cameras captured footage of many firefighters running up, while many policemen were running down. The reason is that a police helicopter warned the police forces that the building was about to collapse and they managed to escape. The firefighters did not receive such a warning, and therefore many firefighter and just a few cops were killed."
Now, thanks to the new technology, the different forces will be able to communicate with each other.