By Mr. Tony Lopez (AMC)May 7, 2015
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant recently completed the successful installation of the Army's first Audio Visual Notification System for use in an ammunition production area.
The AVNS provides increased fully-integrated, plant-wide audio and visual alerting of an emergency situation, which is ideal for high occupancy and high-noise ammunition production buildings like LCAAP, where personnel do not have direct access to computers or telephones. Production personnel will now receive an emergency notification by an emergency alert beacon, an emergency notification strobe light and an electronic message board.
"The AVNS is now the primary means for notifying employees of all emergencies, except fire," said Ken Griechen, Emergency Manager, Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. "We will use the new system to notify our employees of severe weather warnings, hazardous materials releases, industrial accidents, active shooter situations and other emergencies that affect the installation as a whole."
This is the first AVNS fielding in a United States Army ammunition production facility. The Army investment in the AVNS system for LCAAP was approximately $750,000, which was funded entirely by the Army Emergency Management Modernization Program.
Lake City Army Ammunition Plant was chosen to host the first AVNS installation because it was the first facility to be identified with a specific need to provide mass warning notification to a large workforce in very large industrial, extremely noisy manufacturing work environment where employees are prohibited from using/possessing personal cell phones.
Prior to the AVNS installation, LCAAP had no means to communicate to its workforce in the primary production buildings of what type of emergency was occurring and what actions they needed to take in response to the emergency.
The AVNS was installed in several small- and medium-caliber production line buildings and certified as fully operational on April 15, after completion of training by LCAAP first responder personnel.
The first responder classroom training was computer-based, with an instructor provided by the Army EM2P program. The training entailed hands-on experience with the new system, performing practical exercises, sending emergency messages and understanding the interface between the AVNS and the AtHoc Mass Warning Notification System.
In August of 2014, the United States Army Emergency Management Modernization Program approved LCAAP for the fielding of the AVNS to augment the previously installed AtHoc Mass Warning Notification System. The AtHoc System was installed at LCAAP in July 2014 at a cost of $60,000. The AtHoc system is designed to notify personnel within minutes of an emergency situation, when it occurs, by personal computers, mobile devices, telephones or any IP-enabled device.
When an emergency occurs, the AtHoc Mass Warning Notification system is activated manually at the LCAAP Security Dispatch Center. During the mass notification process, a recipient receives a targeted and personalized alert of the situation.
"The addition of the Audio Visual Notification System to the current AtHoc Mass Warning Notification System has allowed our installation the ability to quickly make emergency notifications to the vast majority of the workforce, including those that work in our very large ammunition manufacturing buildings," said Griechen.
The Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, managed by the Joint Munitions Command, conducts contract oversight and provides quality small-caliber munitions to the Warfighter and operates the North Atlantic Treaty Organization test center. JMC produces small-, medium- and large-caliber ammunition items for the Department of Defense. JMC is the logistics integrator for life-cycle management of ammunition and provides a global presence of technical support to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed. JMC's logistics operation is unique to the Department of Defense and its industrial base is an important asset in providing ammunition for the Warfighter.